Valtteri Bottas Hoping to Extend F1 Career into 2025

2024 Miami Grand Prix Friday - Valtteri Bottas
2024 Miami Grand Prix Friday - Valtteri Bottas

Carlos Sainz is the cork in the bottle holding up the next phase in the hectic and early 2025 driver ‘silly season’.

That’s the belief of Valtteri Bottas, who looks certain to be exiting Audi-owned Sauber at the end of the year.

The Swiss team, now under full ownership by the Volkswagen subsidiary Audi, has already signed Nico Hulkenberg for one seat next year – which Finn Bottas said in Miami “makes sense” because of his German nationality.

Also clear is that Audi is pursuing Ferrari refugee Sainz for the other seat, forcing Bottas and his current Sauber teammate Guanyu Zhou into negotiations with other F1 teams.

“Everyone wants to race for the best team possible,” Bottas told the DAZN broadcaster at the Miami GP.

The 34-year-old former Mercedes race winner therefore thinks it’s obvious that Sainz is currently reluctant to sign up with Audi while better options are available.

“Surely they’re trying to sign for Red Bull,” Bottas said.

“The second option would be the second fastest car that is available, which would be Mercedes,” he added.

“And surely he is also negotiating a contract with Audi,” Bottas said. “It will be very important to see how the pieces fit together in the coming weeks.”

The real hold-up for Spaniard Sainz is that both Red Bull and Mercedes have their 2025 driver deliberations on hold for now amid rumours Max Verstappen may suddenly emerge on the market.

Some suspect Bottas might prefer to simply retire rather than continue to slide down the grid next year, but he insists he is still committed to Formula 1.

“I don’t know if I’ll last as long as Fernando (Alonso),” he said, “but I do see myself here for many more years.”

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