Bottas focused on securing ‘long-term’ F1 future rather than fast car


Valtteri Bottas says he is putting security ahead of performance regarding his future in F1, discarding any option that isn’t a long-term project for the Finn.

The ten-time Grand Prix winner is at a crossroads in his career. The Finn is out of contract at the end of the 2024 season, and his current team, Sauber, has shown no tangible sign that it is willing to extend its collaboration with either Bottas or his teammate Zhou Guanyu.

As Sauber slowly transitions towards its Audi identity, Bottas’ fellow F1 veteran Nico Hulkenberg has been signed on the German manufacturer’s project while outgoing Ferrari charger Carlos Sainz is reportedly being actively pursued by the Swiss outfit for 2025.

All signs therefore point to a team that is no longer interested in Bottas, leaving the latter to explore alternative options for next season and beyond.

“When you're in a situation that you are on the free market, you're always looking around,” the Finn confirmed.

“So for a while now it's been different directions, not just one direction, because you can't rely on something, only one, in this sport.”

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A look at the current market tells a story of only a few viable opportunities available to Bottas. While Mercedes and Red Bull both have seats available for next season, it’s unlikely their interest extends to the 34-year-old free agent.

However, Alpine, Wiliams and Haas could be considered as potential destinations suiting Bottas requirements and timeline.

“I wouldn't get one year somewhere just to be in F1, just to hang on,” he explained.

“I need a long-term project with clear goals and with respect for what I can do and deliver. That's really the main thing.

“Obviously, the faster the car the better, but the main thing is to have that security for years ahead that we can work together for the goals that we set.”


The current whisper in the paddock mentions Haas as Bottas’ strongest opportunity for next season. While the US outfit is almost certain to allocate Hulkenberg’s seat to Ferrari junior Ollie Bearman, Bottas could replace Kevin Magnussen on the other side of the team’s garage.

The Finn is ideally looking for clarity on his future before F1’s summer break, but he isn’t giving anything away on his current talks.

“At the moment, everything is an option,” he said. “I'm quite keen. I wouldn't just wait for the August break – I think that it will be too late,” he added.

“Pretty keen. No panic at the moment, like I said, there's discussions going on and some progress being made, so no panic.

“I still don't have a contract signed, so I can't say 100 percent [I'll be in F1] – go for 99 [percent].”

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