The Volkswagen Group has given its initial approval for two of its brands, Porsche and Audi , to compete in Formula 1 starting in the 2026 season, and the final announcement confirming their entry is expected to come sooner rather than later now than ever before. Finally, the new regulation of power units has been ratified.
While Porsche has it done with Red Bull, Sauber – currently working under the Alfa Romeo name, in a partnership that renews annually – appears to be the team most likely to end up working with Audi .
Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato told Motorsport.com last month that he was “not blind” to the rumors linking them to the brand with the four rings, but that he was very calm about what happened. to the future of your association.
Referring to the same comment from Imparato, Fred Vasseur , the team’s sporting director, told Motorsport.com that Alfa Romeo was “more than happy with its current situation”.
“I am more than happy with the association that we have with them, because they are not just a sponsor, but we are partners and develop projects together,” said Vasseur.
“Above all, the relationship between Alfa Romeo [and] Stellantis at one end and the team at the other is very, very good.
“I think also, in some way, maybe part of the good results we’ve had lately is because we’re all working together, and they’re helping us find other partners as well. I really enjoy the partnership.” French added.
The renewal of the partnership between Sauber and Alfa Romeo for 2023 is currently somewhat frozen, according to Imparato , although the team has yet to make any formal announcements about its short- or long-term plans.
Audi had also been linked to possible acquisitions of McLaren, Williams or Aston Martin, but in recent months Sauber has moved into pole position as the most likely route for the German manufacturer with the four rings to land in Formula 1.
For his part, Vasseur downplayed the need to think so far ahead, specifically in 2026, and joked that he “has a hard time talking about 2023.”
“First of all, I think they have to clarify the engine situation,” Vasseur said.
“For sure they will discuss it with everyone in the paddock and do their job. As soon as it is confirmed that they commit to the new engines, then it will be time to talk.”
“But the most important thing is that today we have an active project with Alfa Romeo . I don’t want to mix everything up. Right now I just want to give Alfa Romeo the best,” Fred Vasseur concluded.