New Audi CEO backs Sauber takeover and F1 entry

Fri, 8 December 2023, 08:00

Dec.8 (GMM) Audi’s new CEO has finally dismissed speculation that he might sensationally axe the Volkswagen-owned carmaker’s pledge to enter Formula 1 in 2026.

Although the deal with Sauber is set in stone, with 25 percent ownership of the Swiss team already in Audi’s hands, Gernot Dollner’s recent appointment as a cost-cutting CEO had triggered rumours the contract could be scrapped.

But Manager Magazin, an authoritative German business monthly, insists that Dollner has actually put his support behind the F1 project.

Although it is believed Dollner has been forbidden from making public statements after leaving VW earlier this year, the magazine says he assured colleagues at a recent Audi AG management conference that Sauber-Audi still has the green light.

Additionally, when top Audi board member Oliver Hoffman was asked about the status of the F1 project, “he explained how valuable the matter was for Audi”, DPA news agency reported.

“One listener was quoted as saying that leaving was not an option, and the new Audi boss Gernot Dollner did not intervene,” the media report added.

Another respected publication, Auto Motor und Sport, also reported about the meeting, insisting that “according to our information, he (Dollner) is said to be positive about the F1 project”.

“His legally required 100-day confidentiality obligation that new board members are subject to has just expired, so it’s expected that Dollner will comment publicly on the issue soon.”

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