Formula 1 | Bottas ‘can’t say anything’ about Audi negotiations with Sauber

Bottas 'can't say anything' (...)

Valtteri Bottas remains silent on speculation about his future as an Audi factory driver in Formula 1.

After being Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate at Mercedes on a series of one-year contracts between 2017 and 2021, the Finn says he enjoys the stark contrast his role at Alfa Romeo gives him.

« I can work here without feeling negative pressure, without thinking about what I will do next year. It’s a big change, mentally. It was unconscious probably at Mercedes even if I felt after 2 or 3 contracts that it had to play on my balance, » says the Finn.

« I only ever had a one-year contract there, so I never knew if I would continue or not. It sucked. Every driver faces immense pressure in Formula 1, but every pressure has its limit that cannot be exceeded. Beyond that, performance suffers. »

Alfa Romeo, however, will end its collaboration with Sauber after 2023, as the Audi brand intends to buy 75% of the Hinwil-based team before it enters Formula 1 in 2026.

When Bottas was asked if Audi intended to draw on his experience at Mercedes, he kicked into touch.

« I see where this is coming from. But I can’t say anything about Audi and the negotiations (with Sauber). But it wouldn’t change anything for me personally. Yes, my experience with Mercedes is important. You not only learn what is a gigantic machine of 1000 people behind you, but also what mechanisms you need to succeed in the end. »

Now Bottas just wants to take advantage of his multi-year contract.

« The Sauber project is designed for several years. So much the better if a major manufacturer joins us, otherwise we will move forward according to the defined project. Having a contract over several seasons gives you the necessary security, the necessary confidence. You notice that things that you suggest take effect because the team listened to you. »

« I don’t want to use the term ‘number 1 driver’, but I feel the responsibility and the trust given to me here. My role goes far beyond just driving the car, and I have no had that feeling at Mercedes, far from it. »

Some might even suggest that Bottas regrets agreeing to replace 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg more than five years ago.

« It’s a good question, I find it very difficult to answer yes or no. I don’t know. Having a chance in a world champion team can’t be refused I think, we’ll say that. And I had my chance. All I know is that I don’t want to be anywhere else right now than here. »

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