Audi gives update on F1 expansion plans ahead of 2026 entry

Audi has provided an update on its Formula 1 expansion plans ahead of its factory entry in 2026 with Sauber after commencing work on growing its facilities.

Audi gives update on F1 expansion plans ahead of 2026 entry

Audi announced at the end of August that it would be entering F1 for the first time from 2026 as a power unit supplier, before a link-up with Sauber was confirmed in October.

The deal will see Sauber serve as the strategic partner for the Audi team, developing the chassis out of its Hinwil base in Switzerland while the power unit is looked after by Audi in Neuburg, Germany.

Audi has provided more details on the expansion of its Neuburg facility to accommodate the F1 project after commencing the construction of a new 3,000-square-metre building that will be home to the test benches for the power unit development.

The building, known as F7.2, is part of an expansion of its Competence Centre Motorsport, which opened in 2014 and was home to Audi's factory racing operations for the World Endurance Championship, Formula E and the Dakar Rally.

The extension should be completed in the first quarter of 2024, but the first activities should be conducted out of it from March next year.

"With the Competence Centre Motorsport, we have an ideal base for our Formula 1 project," said Oliver Hoffmann, Audi's board member for technical development.

"Audi Neuburg was designed from the outset to be able to tackle the most demanding motorsport projects. This foresight is paying off. With the existing facilities, we were able to immediately begin with the Formula 1 project.

The new Audi Sport F1 concept car

The new Audi Sport F1 concept car

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"The expansion will create the necessary infrastructure for the development of our F1 power unit for the long term. With the building extension and the installation of state-of-the-art test benches, we are giving our development team the best possible conditions to be successful in the top class of motorsport."

Audi has been on a recruitment drive since announcing its F1 plans, and has already brought on board around 220 employees. The German manufacturer said its target was to pass the 300 mark by mid-2023.

"Developing a power unit for the world's most demanding racing series in Germany is a great challenge," said Adam Baker, who is overseeing Audi's F1 plans.

"We already have a great team at our facility in Neuburg an der Donau that is growing all of the time."

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