Audi have revealed former Le Mans winner Neel Jani has joined the workforce as a simulator driver forward of their 2026 Formula 1 entry.
The German model, owned by Volkswagen, introduced final summer season they might enter F1 below new laws in 2026, constructing their very own energy unit in Bavaria.
By October, a deal had been struck to take over the Sauber works workforce, presently branded as Alfa Romeo, in time for 2026.
With preparations for his or her entry effectively underway, with Andreas Seidl leaving McLaren in December to affix because the workforce’s new CEO, Swiss driver Jani has been introduced as a driver to help growth on the power-unit with simulator work.
Jani, 39, is a former F1 check and reserve driver for Red Bull and has pushed in GP2, Formula E and Le Mans, which he received in 2016 with Porsche.
“I am delighted to accompany Audi on their way into Formula 1,” mentioned Jani. “It is both an honour 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 [Le Mans Prototype] projects I can forge good links between theory and practice.”
Audi are aiming to check their first full energy unit by the tip of this yr.
“Just like in production development, simulation plays a major role in our Formula 1 project,” mentioned Oliver Hoffmann, member of the board of administration for technical growth of Audi AG.
“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.”
Audi are a confirmed entry for 2026 whereas the FIA are presently within the midst of a technique of contemplating different potential entries from the likes of Andretti-Cadillac, Hitcech GP and Panthera Team Asia.