New Audi CEO Döllner confirms Formula 1 commitment

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Photo Credit: Audi

Audi’s new CEO Gernot Döllner has affirmed that Audi will stay committed to entering Formula 1 in 2026. The entrance of the manufacturer into the sport has been the subject of speculation ever since former CEO Markus Duesmann was forced by the board to step down.

Duesmann was one of the main driving forces behind the marque’s bid to acquire Sauber, but ever since his departure, the deal was rumoured to be reverted entirely, fuelled by the relative obscurity of his successor, a long-time Volkswagen Group manager, who decided to keep a low profile for his first 100 days in the office.

Döllner now has spoken up about the issue and confirmed their Formula 1 bid to German business medium, stating: “There is a clear decision from the board of management and the supervisory boards of Audi and Volkswagen that Audi will enter Formula 1 in 2026. The plan is in place.”

The fact that the team has been Alfa Romeo up to this point has also prevented the team from commenting on the situation sooner, Sauber team principal Alessandro Alunni Bravi explained: “Why there is a lack of communication is simple. We are Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake.

“So, until the end of the year, we have certain limitations in communicating about the team, about the future, about the involvement of Audi, and we fully respect Alfa Romeo for this.

“We don’t want to make any kind of announcement or more than what is strictly related to the race and the championship. The commitment, as I said, is there.”

Döllner also gave a little insight in of the changes he made in the corporate structure of the Ingolstadt-based OEM, which should result in faster decision-making.

“We used to have a very complex landscape of committees,” he explained. “That is why we have now abolished an entire level of committees below the executive board… in short: we are now faster and all-important decisions are once again made by the entire executive board team.”