As the F1 transfer market evolves unfavorably, 2024 looms as possibly Valtteri Bottas‘ final year in the pinnacle of motorsport.
Bottas might struggle to stay in F1 as the transfer market is not moving in his favor. 2024 could be Valtteri Bottas’ last season in Formula 1.
When the news broke that his former Mercedes F1 teammate, Lewis Hamilton, would move to Ferrari in 2025, Bottas teasingly posted a photo on X of himself sitting at a table with his phone in front of him.
He also hinted on social media that he had recently visited Brackley, the home town of Mercedes’ headquarters. However, this was again in jest as he did not actually visit Mercedes F1 or Toto Wolff.
The 34-year-old driver is now racing for Sauber – which will be renamed Stake F1 Team this year following Alfa Romeo’s departure. The unveiling of the C44 is scheduled for today at 8 PM.
Bottas Faces Uncertain F1 Future in 2025
But in reality, Bottas could find himself without a seat in 2025. Indeed, Carlos Sainz, ousted from Ferrari in 2025, is closely linked to a move to Audi F1, the car manufacturer owned by VW that will fully take over Sauber by 2026.
Bottas’ chances of continuing with Sauber are starting to look slim. In theory, the other seat at Sauber-Audi could be available. But Sauber is now in a situation where Bottas, the experienced driver, might be dispensable while Guanyu Zhou brings a significant budget with his Chinese sponsors.
So if Sainz becomes the experienced driver by 2025 to prepare for 2026, will Bottas still have a year to prove his worth? Or will Audi immediately look to hire a second strong driver, with the transfer market expected to heat up following recent announcements regarding Hamilton, Leclerc, and Norris.
Bottas may thus need to look for a new team for 2025 if he wishes to continue in F1. He could leverage his experience at a team like Haas F1 if Nico Hülkenberg, one of the drivers courted by Audi, leaves, or if Kevin Magnussen is retired by Ayao Komatsu, the new director of the American team.
Bottas F1 Career Uncertainty 2024. Bottas F1 Career Uncertainty 2024.
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