Volkswagen Group has given initial approval for its Porsche and Audi brands to participate in Formula 1 from 2026, with a final announcement expected shortly after the ratification of the engine regulations.

While Porsche intends to acquire a 50% stake in F1 team Red Bull, Sauber, which runs the Alfa Romeo F1 team, is considered the most likely partner to collaborate with Audi. It currently has a long-term partnership with Alfa Romeo that is renewed every year.

Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato told last month he was “not blind” to the Audi referencesbut was calm about the future of their partnership.

When asked about Imparato’s comments, Wasser told that he believed Alfa Romeo was “more than happy with the current situation”.

“I’m more than happy to partner with them because they’re not just a sponsor, we’re partners and we’re developing projects together,” Wasser said.

“On top of everything, the relationship between Alfa Romeo [and] Stellantis on the one hand and the team on the other are very, very good.

“I also think that maybe part of the good results today is because we all work together and they help us find other partners. I really like the partnership.”

Rendering of the Audi F1 car

Photo: Camille Debastiani

Sauber and Alfa Romeo update partnership for 2023 completed, according to Imparato, though the team has yet to make any official announcements about the plans.

Audi has been linked with possible takeovers of McLaren, Williams and Aston Martin, but Sauber has emerged as the most likely destination for the German manufacturer to explore in recent months.

Vasser played down the need to think too far ahead to 2026, joking that he “can hardly talk about 23!”

“First, I think they need to figure out the engine situation,” Wasser said.

“Of course they will discuss with everyone in the paddock. They will do their job. Once they get confirmation of their engine commitment, it will probably be time to discuss.

“But the most important thing is that today we have a project with Alfa Romeo. I don’t want to mix everything up. I want to give Alfa Romeo the best.”

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