The Volkswagen Group has given initial approval for its Porsche and Audi brands to enter F1 from 2026, with a final announcement expected soon now that the engine regulations have been ratified.
With Porsche set to take a 50% stake in Red Bull’s F1 team, Sauber – who operates Alfa Romeo’s F1 team – has been named as the team most likely to work with Audi . He currently has a long-term partnership with Alfa Romeo which is renewed every year.
Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato told Autosport last month that he was “not blind” to ties with Audi, but was relaxed about the future of their partnership.
Asked about Imparato’s comment, Vasseur told Autosport he thought Alfa Romeo was “more than happy with the current situation”.
“I am more than happy with the partnership with them, because they are not just a sponsor, but we are partners and develop projects together,” Vasseur said.
“On top of everything, the relationship between Alfa Romeo [and] Stellantis on one side and the team on the other is very, very good.
“I also think, in a way, that part of the good results today is maybe because we are all working together, and they are also helping us find other partners. really appreciate the partnership.
Rendering of the Audi F1 car
Photo by: Camille Debastiani
A renewal of Sauber’s partnership with Alfa Romeo for 2023 has been finalized, according to Imparato, although the team has yet to make an official announcement about its plans.
Audi had been linked with possible takeovers at McLaren, Williams and Aston Martin, but Sauber has emerged in recent months as the likeliest avenue for German manufacturing to explore.
Vasseur played down the need to think too far ahead of 2026, joking that he “struggled to talk about ’23!”
“First, I think they need to clarify the situation on the engine,” Vasseur said.
“Of course they will chat with everyone in the paddock. They will do their job. As soon as they have confirmation of their commitment to the engine, it will probably be time to discuss.
“But the most important thing is that we have the project with Alfa Romeo today. I don’t want to mix everything up. I want to give Alfa Romeo the best.”