Fresh blow for Audi’s F1 project as another key leader faces exit

Audi plan to enter F1 in 2026 but behind-the-scenes rumblings put their entry into question


Another key person behind Audi’s F1 entry is set to depart, two years before the car giants finally join the grid.

Chief development officer Oliver Hoffmann is set for the exit, German newspaper Bild reports.

It is a significant blow because Markus Duesmann, the CEO who led Audi towards F1, has already left his job.

CDO Hoffman’s contract had been extended as recently as last year but he now faces being forced out of Audi, the report states.

He disagrees with new Audi CEO Gernot Dollner over the company’s future.

Hoffman is also carrying the responsibility for poor sales figures. Cars planned under his leadership have either been postponed or have not sold as successfully as hoped.

The Volkswagen Group's Supervisory Board will have the final say on Hoffman’s future at the beginning of March.

The new CEO wants to move Hoffman into Audi’s F1 project instead.

He was present when Audi announced its plan to enter F1 in 2026.

But there is confusion over the idea of moving Hoffman into F1, because Andreas Seidl is currently working as the CEO of the team known as Sauber who will evolve into Audi in 2026.

Rumours within F1 continue that Audi’s planned entry into F1 in two years is still not 100% and they could withdraw.

The new Audi CEO Dollner is reportedly open to selling the Sauber shares which would enable Audi to U-turn on their F1 plan without reputational damage.

The booming finances in F1 make it a good time to sell up. Audi bought their share in Sauber for a reported €600m.

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