Audi has taken another step in their F1 journey by signing former Red Bull junior and Formula E racer Neel Jani in simulator driver capacity.

As the work behind the scenes continues in the development of a brand new F1 power unit, Audi has roped in experienced Swiss campaigner Jani in a simulator driver capacity role. The German manufacturer already has a simulator in place at Neuburg.

Jani comes in a wealth of experience even at F1 level where he spent some time as a Red Bull junior. Even though he never got the opportunity to race, he eventually moved on with top-end manufacturers to race in World Endurance Championship and Formula E.

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

On the hiring of Jani, Oliver Hoffmann stated: “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.”

While the production work continues at one side, Audi has to look at the development work too, if their product will deliver on ground. And so, Jani’s feedback becomes essential. “At the moment, we are mainly focused on fundamental concept questions with high relevance to performance,” said Adam Baker.

“However, in evaluating various technical solutions we rely not only on digital methods. Know-how, experience and practically relevant development are indispensable elements of drawing the right conclusions from the simulation. With that combination, we can assess various operating strategies at an early stage and pave the way for efficient energy management of the power unit.”

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