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Bottas: Sticking around for Audi era making more sense

Valtteri Bottas says staying at Sauber as it transitions into its Audi Formula 1 era is making more and more sense to him, despite some current competitive struggles.

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43

Photo by: Alfa Romeo

The Finn has an option to stay at the current Alfa Romeo titled team into 2024 as part of an original two-plus-one-year contract that he signed with the squad ahead of the 2022 campaign.

But despite some early promise after his switch from Mercedes, Alfa Romeo has slipped down the midfield order and currently lies ninth in the constructors’ championship.

This also comes at a time when it is preparing for a full takeover by German manufacturer Audi, which is entering F1 from the start of 2026.

Bottas has previously not wanted to get too far ahead of himself in thinking about the future potential of the squad, but he has admitted now that it would be positive for him to remain onboard into the Audi era.

Asked if he was interested in sticking around until 2026, Bottas said: “The more I think about it, yes. For me, it's an interesting era for the team.

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“When you are focused on the here and now, you don’t want to sometimes think too far ahead – but then if I really think about it, and the long-term plan, then it would make sense.

“And for me, it would be really motivating to be part of it. Let's see, it is still a while away. I'm sure eventually we will have some discussions, but not yet.”

With the team preparing for its takeover by Audi, there have been suggestions that its current progress is being held back by it having one eye on the long term.

Bottas has denied, however, any claim that Alfa Romeo’s campaign is being hurt by it being in a holding pattern.

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“Looking from the outside, it could look that way, that people are just waiting for Audi to come and so on,” he said. “But it is not the case.

“Everyone is flat out, everyone is pushing. So we're not standing still. It is just that the field is now so competitive and, if you don't start the season quite there, then it's not easy to come back up. So we're pushing, we're not standing still.”

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