Bottas: Audi ‘still fully committed’ to F1 project

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Whispers of uncertainty have clouded Audi's projected 2026 entry into Formula 1 in partnership with Sauber, but Valtteri Bottas assures that the manufacturer's commitment remains strong.

For several months, multiple reports have suggested that the German powerhouse might pull the plug on its F1 project.

And yet Audi’s gradual acquisition of Sauber Motorsport – racing in F1 as Stake F1 Team – continues to unfold as scheduled while its dedicated Neuberg factory in Germany pursues its research and development work on the hybrid engine that will power its F1 cars from 2026.

Bottas, addressing the rumors directly and drawing on his own understanding of the situation, dismissed them as unfounded.

“I think it's just rumours from what I understand and what I've heard,” he said, quoted by Racing News365. “They're still fully committed for the future.”

The driver line-up for the future Audi-backed team has been another hot topic. Rumors have linked both Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Haas Nico Hulkenberg to Audi, suggesting a desire for seasoned talent.

And of course, Bottas himself has expressed interest in joining the team, though he hasn't ruled out a return to Mercedes once Lewis Hamilton takes his Ferrari leap in 2025.

However, the Finn believes the coming months will see closer collaboration between Sauber and Audi as they prepare for their debut.

This suggests an accelerated integration and possibly more concrete information to address the ongoing speculation.

“I think the cooperation will start sometime soon, I would imagine if Audi already wants to be competitive in their first year,” Bottas said.

“Sauber and Audi will need to work together but that's all going on behind the scenes.

“As a driver, whatever meetings or stuff is happening behind the scenes, we are not always aware of those things. But things are starting to pick up now.”

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