Does Audi era signal the end for Valtteri Bottas?

Valtteri Bottas has conceded that his future with Sauber, as it transitions into a works team with Audi, is uncertain. Once a race winner alongside Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, Bottas moved to the Hinwil team, which has undergone several identity changes, now finding itself under complete ownership by Audi. This acquisition sets the stage for Audi’s rebranding debut from 2026 onwards, yet Bottas remains unsigned even for the 2025 season.

Speaking at the Adelaide Motorsport Festival, Bottas shared, “I think there will be opportunities, but at the moment my priority is the Audi project. Getting in there for the long-term.”

Now 34, Bottas is finding it increasingly challenging to distinguish himself beside Guanyu Zhou, his much younger Chinese teammate. This difficulty comes as a fresh wave of young talent also eagerly awaits their turn in Formula 1.

When asked about the possibility of his Formula 1 career concluding, Bottas humorously responded, “I don’t have a specific number, in terms of years, because I don’t see my time in F1 ending any time soon. I am 34, Fernando Alonso is 65, so he is a pretty good reference that you can keep performing.”

Despite the struggles of competing further down the field after securing 10 grand prix victories with Mercedes, Bottas remains determined. “I really want to carry on, and I really want to get closer to the top fighting for proper results again,” he expressed.

Bottas also noted the significance of a major manufacturer like Audi entering the sport, acknowledging the potential impact on his career. “I think it’s always interesting when you have a big manufacturer like that (Audi) entering the sport, but if for some reason there isn’t an opportunity for me, and I think there is, then the driver market is quite wide open for next year,” he stated, indicating his readiness to explore other opportunities should Audi’s plans not include him.

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