Audi and Sauber have confirmed their partnership for the 2026 Formula One season.
Sauber has confirmed that they will be Audi's strategic partner when the German manufacturer returns to Formula One in 2026.
Since 2019, the Swiss constructor has raced under the Alfa Romeo banner, but that partnership will end at the end of the 2023 season.
Sauber will then use current supplier Ferrari's power units in 2024 and 2025 before being taken over by Audi the following year, with Audi planning to "acquire a stake in the Sauber Group."
"The partnership between Audi AG and Sauber Motorsport is an important step for our team as we continue to move closer to the front of the grid," Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur said.
"Becoming Audi's official works team is not only an honor and a great responsibility; it's also the best option for the future, and we are fully confident we can help Audi achieve the goals they have set for their Formula 1 journey."
It is Sauber's second full works agreement, following their partnership with BMW in the 2000s, and owner Finn Rausing described Audi as the company's "best strategic partner."
The goal now is to get back into the upper midfield.
Sauber, which debuted in Formula One in 1993, partnered with Alfa Romeo in 2018, but they continue to operate on a smaller budget than nearly all of their competitors, and have been near the back of the grid ever since.
A collaboration with Audi will undoubtedly help their cause.
"We are thrilled to have found such an experienced and capable partner for our ambitious Formula 1 project," said Audi board member Oliver Hoffman, who is in charge of the corporate F1 program.
"From previous collaborations, we already know the Sauber Group with its cutting-edge facility and experienced team, and we are confident that we will form a strong team together."
F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali stated: "Audi's partnership with Sauber for their entry into Formula One in 2026 is fantastic news.
"That combination of names is a very exciting prospect for our sport. It demonstrates Formula 1's strong momentum and belief in our strategy to further grow and improve the sport while delivering on our sustainability plans to be Net Zero Carbon by 2030 with advanced sustainable fuels in the cars by 2026.
"We are excited to see their progress over the next few years, as well as the car on the grid for the team's first race."
Audi confirmed in August that it would enter Formula One as a power unit supplier in four years' time, and had previously been linked with a partnership with McLaren. Porsche, another Volkswagen brand, saw a deal with Red Bull fall through but maintains an F1 interest.
Audi will develop engines from their German headquarters, while the chassis will continue to be developed at Sauber's Swiss headquarters.
The next generation of F1 engines will have more electrical power and 100% sustainable fuels.