Valtteri Bottas’ entry into Audi’s F1 car requires a small miracle – the reasons are blunt – Sports

It is probably certain that Audi will come to F1 in a big way and they want a famous racing driver as the number one driver, writes HS sports reporter Ismo Uusitupa.

Formula the team place roulette for the first teams is not very hot right now, but next year it will start to happen even more from the Finnish point of view. With Valtteri Bottas starts in the 2024 season, his last year at Alfa Romeo, as well as his teammate Zhou Guanyulla.

Bottas has already expressed his interest in continuing with the team, which will use Audi engines from the 2026 season. The Swiss company Sauber is still responsible for building the car.

For the 2024 and 2025 seasons, Sauber’s cars will still have Ferrari’s power source, but next year the name of the team will be something other than Alfa Romeo. It will probably be Sauber, unless a new title sponsor is found for a couple of seasons.

So: There are still no drivers for the Sauber-Ferrari combination for the 2025 season – let alone for the Audi season from 2026 onwards.

Very probably already for the 2025 season, a driver or drivers will be hired, who will also be involved during the Audi era. What are Bottas’ chances?

In short: thin. At the same time, it can be said that the door is not closed.

It is probably certain that Audi will enter F1 in a big way and they want a famous racing driver as the number one driver. Bottas has several seasons behind him at Mercedes, including race wins, but are they enough to show? The seasons at Alfa Romeo have been downright creepy, and you can’t really blame Bottas himself for them – if Max Verstappen was driving an Alfa Romeo, he wouldn’t have very many more World Cup points than Bottas has now.

Audi is a German car brand, but the eyes are not necessarily on the German driver. At the moment there are already rumors that Carlos Sainz junior would be in the stable’s binoculars. Among Sainz’s ranks, this has of course been disputed, as Sports Illustrated tells. At the same time, it is stated that Bottas and Guanyu may not be options.

However, the fact that Sainz’s name came up reflects the situation: right now a successful driver is in the spotlight. In addition, the Spaniard could be a good fit for Audi anyway: Spain must be a good marketing destination.

The seasons at Alfa Romeo have been downright creepy.

Bottas the opportunity is here: if the team wants a second driver with experience in a big team, who is very cooperative and steady, reliable, the choice could fall on a Finn. In addition, Bottas’ background team has negotiation skills – without it, Bottas would never have driven in the Mercedes team.

But if Sauber-Audi works like several teams, i.e. another driver has to bring a huge pile of dollars to the team, the situation will be difficult for Bottas and, for example, Guanyu’s shares will rise due to the Chinese support. Or someone else who stacks bills in front of the stable door.

So the only thing that is certain is that at least next season there will be one Finnish driver in the F1 circus.

By Editor

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