It marks the first driver signing made by the German marque, which has already struck an agreement to make Sauber their works team from the 2026 F1 season. 

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Audi have moved to sign the experienced Jani, who is a Le Mans 24 Hours and FIA World Endurance Championship title winner. 

Jani will support the development of the Audi power unit for their entry, with a prototype run on a test bench already planned before the end of this year. 

The 39-year-old left Porsche at the end of 2022 following 10 seasons with the manufacturer. Jani did the Le Mans/WEC title double with Porsche in 2016. 

Jani previously carried out many hours in F1 simulators as a test and reserve driver for Red Bull. 

“I am delighted to accompany Audi on their way into Formula 1,” said the Swiss driver. 

"It is both an honor and a great responsibility to be involved in a project of this magnitude at an early stage. I am sure that with my experience from Formula 1 and LMP projects I can forge good links between theory and practice.”

Oliver Hoffmann, Audi AG Board Member responsible for the F1 programme, added: “Just like in production development, simulation plays a major role in our Formula 1 project. 

“Our simulator is an important tool for the power unit development. It requires a development driver who in addition to a grasp of technology brings versatile experience to the project, especially in terms of energy management in racing conditions.”