audi f1 car bottas 2026

Bottas: I definitely want to be a part of the Audi F1 project

audi f1 car bottas 2026

Valtteri Bottas has two seasons to convince Audi that he should be part of their 2026 Formula 1 foray, the Finn declaring his intent as Sauber transitions away from their Ferrari connection.

Recently, Sauber ditched their Alfa Romeo title sponsorship, and rebranded the team to Stake F1 Team as they tread water until the Audi-era kicks off at Hinwill in a couple of years.

For 2024 (and possibly 2025) Zhou Guanyu and Bottas will drive for the team during the transition phase, morphing into Audi’s long-awaited F1 effort. The 34-year-old Finn told Express Sport: “I definitely want to be a part of the Audi project, so that’s my goal and we’ll find out next year what happens.”

“I’m signed until [the] end of next year and there haven’t been talks yet. We have agreed to talk next year… I would say in the first quarter of next year to finalise things and make sure we’re all on the same page.”

CEO of Sauber Motorsport, Andreas Seidl has been tasked to lead Audi’s campaign and, of course, the crucial setting up of the team. He should excel at this as he masterminded BMW’s sensational return to DTM as well as heading Porsche’s recent glory years in the WEC before turning McLasren around along with their CEO Zak Brown.

Valtteri is a 10-time Grand Prix winner

turkish grand prix bottas winner podium

Several top drivers have been linked to Audi, among them Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard worked with Seidl at McLaren. Rumours abound and they include the likes of Lando Norris, as well as Oscar Piastri who are deep in McLaren’s pockets. But contracts in F1 are made to be broken if required. Ask Alpine…

Despite the denials, there is a queue of drivers hot for an Audi F1 seat, many without contracts beyond next season, which Bottas acknowledged: “It’s interesting times in F1. I think there are many drivers without contracts.

“It’s going to be quite interesting actually to follow how things are going to fall into place. For me the goal is clear: Audi,” concluded Bottas, a veteran of 222 Grand Prix starts, with 67 GP podiums to his name, among them ten F1 victories.

Race-winning experience, plus being part of the mightiest F1 team ever during his tenure at Mercedes from 2017 until the end of 2021, will serve Bottas well for any team, let alone Sauber. They could do with a template to work from as they embark on their most high-profile sporting endeavour ever. Welcome to F1, Audi!

Ferrari will continue to supply F1 Power Units to Sauber until the end of 2025.

Big Question: Would Valtteri Bottas be a good pick for Audi’s first chapter in F1?