Valtteri Bottas has kept quiet about rumors surrounding his future as an Audi factory driver in F1.
Valtteri Bottas says he enjoys his contrasting role at Alfa Romeo after signing a one-year deal with the Mercedes F1 team as team-mate to Lewis Hamilton between 2017 and 2021.
“You can work here without any negative pressure,” Valtteri Bottas said of his work at Sauber, Switzerland, now known as Alfa Romeo.
However, Alfa Romeo is ending its collaboration with Sauber after 2023, and rumors are growing that Audi intends to buy 75% of the Hinwil-based team before it enters F1 in 2026.
“I can’t say anything about Audi,” said Valtteri Bottas when asked if Audi was looking forward to using its racing experience with Mercedes F1.
“Personally, nothing will change.”
“But experience at Mercedes is important. Not only did I learn what the gigantic machine behind it looks like, but I also learned the mechanics needed to be successful in the end.”
But Valtteri Bottas said he faced “a lot of pressure at Mercedes” to play second fiddle to Lewis Hamilton.
“I only had a one-year contract, so I didn’t know if I was going to continue. It sucked,” admitted Valtteri Bottas.
“All drivers face immense pressure in Formula 1, but there are always limitations and performance issues.
Now, Valtteri Bottas said he was pursuing a project “conceived for several years” by the Sauber camp and that he was under a multi-year contract.
“That way you get the security you need and the confidence you need,” said Valtteri Bottas.
“I found the team listened to me and what I suggested worked.”
“I hate to use the term ‘number 1 driver’ but I feel the responsibility and the trust that is given to me here. My role is more than just driving a car, Mercedes will never feel that.
Valtteri Bottas can even say he regrets his short-lived deal to replace 2016 F1 world champion Nico Rosberg more than five years ago.
“That’s a good question, which is very difficult to answer. I don’t know,” said Valtteri Bottas.
“All I know is that I don’t want to be anywhere else right now.”
Category: F1 / Valtteri Bottas / Sauber / audio / Alfa Romeo F1
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