Multi-time F1 winner Bottas sets clear Audi ‘goal’ as contract talks loom

Baku, December 27, AZERTAC
Valtteri Bottas expects his contract negotiations with Sauber to kick off in early 2024 as the link-up with Audi looms, according to Planet F1.
The Finn made the switch to the Alfa Romeo/Sauber squad at the end of 2021 following a long stint with Mercedes, with the experienced multiple Grand Prix winner taking on a team leadership role with the midfield outfit.
With Alfa Romeo withdrawing from F1 after 2023, the team reverts to Sauber for two years of independence before linking up with Audi as the German manufacturer enters F1 by taking over a majority shareholding position at Hinwil.
Bottas is entering the final year of his current contract with Sauber, and the Finn has revealed he is likely to begin contract negotiations for his future over the first few months of 2024.
“So I’m signed until [the] end of next year and there haven’t been talks yet,” Bottas told the UK’s Express Sport.
“We have agreed to talk next year… I would say in the first quarter of next year to finalise things and make sure we’re all on the same page.”
Bottas is just one of many drivers whose contract comes to an end after 2024, with more than half the grid’s deals with their current teams set to expire. The likely chaos coming for 2025 is in stark contrast to the 2023/24 off-season, in which the entire grid remains static for a second consecutive season.
“It’s interesting times in F1 obviously,” Bottas said.
“I think there’s actually many drivers without contracts [beyond 2024] so it’s going to be quite interesting actually to follow how things are going to fall into place.
“For me the goal is clear. I would definitely want to be a part of the Audi project, so that’s my goal and we’ll find out next year what happens.”

Sports 2023-12-27 13:14:00