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Bottas Audi Ownership a Clear Plan for Future

Bottas: “Audi Ownership a Clear Plan for Future”

21/03/2024

Valtteri Bottas views staying with Sauber for its Audi switch as a prime chance to remain in F1, amidst speculation.

It is understood that Sauber’s management has already explored alternative options for 2025 and beyond. Rumors even suggest he might be out for 2025, along with Guanyu Zhou, as Andreas Seidl had hoped for better performance from his drivers.

Audi confirmed in mid-2022 that it would become a strategic partner of Sauber starting in 2026, when new engine regulations are introduced, and began a gradual acquisition of the company.

Earlier this month, it was confirmed that an agreement had been reached whereby Audi would acquire 100% of the organization from the existing shareholders, thus facilitating new investments in the company ahead of its 2026 entry.

“I think it just gives the team security that everyone knows there is a clear plan,” Bottas said in Melbourne.

“Everyone on the team wants to be part of it. Because now, they know Audi owns 100 percent.”

Bottas joined Sauber from Mercedes on a multi-year contract before the 2022 season, but is at the end of his contract after 2024.

How does he respond to rumors that Sauber will not retain him? The Finn claims he remains committed to staying and leading Audi’s Formula 1 challenge. And he highlights his experience for this purpose.

“I still feel like I have a lot to give, a lot to achieve. And now, my motivation is to get closer to the top, I’ve missed that feeling of fighting more towards the front.”

“And obviously, being part of Audi, that could be an excellent opportunity for me to do so. So of course, it’s interesting for me.”

“Experience is important in sports, and also when there are regulation changes, you need to be quite dynamic in the direction you take with a car and new ideas. And also, the more you’ve lived, the more you can adapt to certain things.”

“So, I hope that will be my strength. And also, they should know, I’m a very good team player, with everyone who’s by my side.”

Bottas: Pit Stop Issues Not ‘100% Solved’

Valtteri Bottas is excited to be in Melbourne for the Australian GP, a race that feels like a home Grand Prix for him. The Finnish driver enjoys significant popularity in the country, where his partner Tiffany Cromwell is also a well-known professional athlete.

“It’s fantastic to be here and to immerse in the Australian culture,” Bottas stated. “There’s so much support, which obviously makes things more enjoyable, and each time I come back, I feel the support growing. There have been fun activities ahead of the Grand Prix, and now it’s time to have proper fun on the track.”

Stake F1, competing as Kick Sauber in Melbourne, has faced recent issues with pit stops, and Bottas acknowledges that this problem, among others, is not fully resolved: “We haven’t solved the issue 100% as there’s a delay for some components and materials we need.”

“However, I think we should be in a better position, and I’ll have more confidence going into the pit stops this weekend. Fingers crossed, everything goes well, and I hope that way we can have clean races and fight for points.”

Guanyu Zhou confirms the team is working on resolving the pit stop issues: “I think it was clear we needed to rethink the whole equipment system for the pit stop team.”

“Of course, unfortunately, we can’t really redesign the layout at the moment, but we’re already making some adjustments to the wheel nut and wheel guns and making sure the issue is addressed. We’re crossing our fingers that everything can work out.”

The Chinese driver has confidence in his team: “I think we seem to have a good racing level as a team; we just need to clean up the weekends a bit.”

“Obviously, the pit stop is key. I love the track, I love the place, the fans, and the atmosphere is always one of the best of the year, so it’s really good and enjoyable to come to Melbourne.”

Bottas: “Audi Ownership a Clear Plan for Future”. Bottas: “Audi Ownership a Clear Plan for Future”

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