Is Bottas out? Audi’s strategy shift sparks speculation

As the 2025 Formula 1 driver market continues to unfold, Valtteri Bottas finds himself in a precarious position. The seasoned Finnish driver and former Mercedes victor seems to be excluded from Audi’s future plans for the Sauber team.

At 34, Bottas is at risk of being left without a seat amid intense speculation, with his current seat, as well as that of his Chinese teammate Guanyu Zhou, attracting interest from several top drivers like Carlos Sainz, Nico Hulkenberg, and Sergio Perez.

Audi is evidently eager to finalize its driver roster for 2025 and beyond, possibly extending offers until 2027. They’ve set imminent deadlines for drivers who’ve received firm proposals.

“For some it might move quite quickly, for some maybe not,” commented Nico Hulkenberg, who is currently with Haas and was speaking in Shanghai. “It’s definitely a very interesting situation right now – the driver market is very dynamic, very fluid. I’m sure all the drivers with no contract for 2025 are pretty busy right now having lots of conversations. Same for me,” the German driver acknowledged.

Bottas also reflected on the upcoming hectic phase in F1’s silly season. “I don’t know if there is anything to solve right now,” he shared during an interview with Finnish broadcaster MTV in China. He added, “But of course it’s exciting to think about what Carlos (Sainz) is doing, or what Mercedes is doing. Things might start falling into place within a couple of weeks. I have started discussions,” he revealed.


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