Jul.12 (GMM) Audi appears to be getting very serious about its Formula 1 program – as the VW-owned German carmaker slashes its other motor racing activities.
With the marque entering F1 via a buyout of the Sauber team by 2026, Audi’s motorsport boss Rolf Michl said there will be no more financial support for customer teams in DTM or endurance racing.
Motorsoprt-magazin.com said the management board made the decision on Monday, and since then Audi’s customer support boss Chris Reinke has been informing teams, drivers and partners.
The move comes shortly after it emerged that Audi CEO Markus Duesmann will be replaced by successor Gernot Dollner from September 1.
The board has reportedly also decided to end Audi’s works Dakar rally program, involving Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz’s father and namesake, after 2024.
“With this decision, Audi will effectively only have Formula 1 in its portfolio for the coming years as professionally-operated or factory-supported motorsport,” said correspondents Robert Seiwert and Arno Wester.
Audi’s racing boss Michl explained that customer teams will still be able to race with their own budgets.
“Audi customer racing will not be liquidated or closed,” he said.
“We have received approval for all aspects – technical support, the spare parts service on site and the entire customer care, which has distinguished us for years.
“But there is the very clear decision that, with the focus on entering Formula 1 in 2026, there will unfortunately no longer be any financial support for the teams from our side from 2024.
“It was with a heavy heart that we accepted the decision,” Michl added.