Formula 1

Audi Sport to Bring in Development Driver in 2023 to Aid Power Unit Development

1 Mins read
Credit: Audi AG

Audi Sport will look to bring in a development driver midway through the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season that will help them begin preparations for its arrival in the championship in 2026.

Audi will become Formula 1’s newest factory team in 2026 when it joins forces with the Sauber F1 Team, with the German marque also developing their own power units ahead of their debut season.

Adam Baker, the CEO of Audi’s racing operations, says that whilst it is too early to be considering drivers who could race for the team in 2026, it is important that they acquire a driver to help develop the team prior to their arrival.

“Too far away,” Baker said to German publication Deutsche Presse-Agentur.  “We’re not even talking about the drivers for 2024 yet, so it’s very difficult to say how the driver market will develop for 2026.

“[We will] bring a development driver on board in the third quarter [of 2023], who will be particularly important for our power unit development in the driving simulator in Neuburg”.

With it being a German team, many suggestions about possible drivers have been about German drivers, and whilst Baker says that sounds attractive, they will be looking to get the highest calibre drivers possible on board for 2026, regardless of nationality.

“It would be attractive, of course, but for us the performance of the drivers has priority,” Baker said.

Baker says Audi’s recruitment process is well underway, with the priority in bringing in people with Formula 1 experience to the team.  Although not directly linked with Audi yet, Sauber have already brought in Andreas Seidl as Chief Executive Officer for 2023, and more arrivals are expected in the coming months and years.

However, he knows they are likely to need to recruit people from other countries to do so, with none of Formula 1 power unit’s currently being developed in Germany.

“We are already internationally positioned here at the site and the recruiting process is also geared in this way. We are specifically approaching subject matter experts who already have Formula 1 experience,” Baker added.

“This is the first time since 2009 that a power unit has been developed in Germany. Therefore, if we want experienced personnel, we are more likely to find them in the UK, France or Italy.”

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