Seidl: Audi not luring drivers with ‘huge amounts of money’


Sauber F1 chief executive Andreas Seidl insists Audi’s approach to selecting its drivers for its F1 endeavor is not about throwing money at established names but on attracting talent that wants to be invested in the manufacturer’s journey in the sport.

Sauber confirmed last week Nico Hulkenberg’s move from Haas to the Hinwil squad for 2025 in preparation for Audi’s official entry into Grand Prix racing in 2026.

To complement Hulkenberg’s presence at Sauber, Audi has reportedly set its sights on outgoing Ferrari charger Carlos Sainz.

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko – who has also taken a keen interest in the Spaniard’s services – has claimed that Audi has made a “very lucrative” offer to Sainz.

While Seidl acknowledged Audi’s financial muscle, the Sauber says its focus lies on building a team culture with candidates that share their vision for the future and who will contribute to building its long-term project, not just chasing a quick payday.

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“Our approach is not to motivate drivers or other employees to come to us with huge amounts of money,” Seild told Auto Motor und Sport.

“We basically have the financial resources of a top team, but we really think about how we can use every franc or euro sensibly and efficiently.

“We want to attract people who want to be part of this journey and accompany Audi’s entry into Formula 1.”

Seidl elaborated on Sauber’s choice to recruit Hulkenberg, underlining how the German driver’s vast experience and knowledge will represent valuable assets for the Swiss outfit.

“It is clear that, given the current level of performance, it is absolutely important for us to have the best possible driver pairing at the start,” Seidl explained.

“It also makes sense that our future driver squad from the Audi works team will be in the cars as early as 2025 to support the project from the start.

“The drivers can also help us in terms of team motivation and development direction.

“Therefore, Nico is a top choice. There is no question that he is fast. With his experience, his teamwork and his great technical understanding, he brings what we need.”

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Sauber C44 makes a pit stop. 24.03.2024. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

Seidl was tight-lipped on the speculation surrounding Sainz and on the prospects of either Valtteri Bottas or Zhou Guanyu remaining with Sauber next season.

“It makes sense to have at least one driver with experience because we have to overcome many challenges at once,” he added.

“So it can be two experienced drivers or one with experience and a strong rookie.

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