Bottas: “Being part of Audi would be my number 1 priority” in F1 2026

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Audi’s entry into Formula 1 is imminent. After having completed all the paperwork for the German brand to join as a partner of Sauber, a company that already has a team in the highest category of motorsport, everything indicates that Audi’s entry into Formula 1 will be in 2026, since Sauber will change its name -again- and will now be called Audi. In the meantime, the Swiss team will be called Stake F1 Team.


Stake will once again have Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou as its starting drivers. We have to remember that the Finnish driver is in the last year of his contract with the Swiss team, so it is an important situation to consider. In fact, the last year of his contract was going to be in the 2023 season, however, it was decided to activate a clause within said contract that would allow him to drive this team’s car for the 2024 season.


During an exclusive interview with, Valtteri commented that he is looking forward to Audi’s project, and being a Sauber driver, he hopes that a final contract for 2025 will be enough to ensure that the Finn is one of the starting drivers for the Audi team in the 2026 season.


“F1 is the number one thing for me. I’m still hungry to get back on the podium eventually. The Audi project could be the next opportunity.”


Bottas affirmed that there have not been any discussions with the German manufacturer regarding who is going to be their starting driver.

“From my understanding, they’re going to make decisions of the years ahead early [this] year. So not yet. I’m going to have those discussions in the first quarter of [this] year.”

Photo Credits: Stake F1 Team

“I would [look around if Audi’s not interested], of course. I’m just being really honest here. Being part of Audi would be my number one priority and preference. But if for some reason not, then absolutely I would talk to [other teams].

“I want to be around because I feel like I still have some unfinished things in this sport.”


The Finnish driver is not, at all, a rookie. With 222 Grand Prix starts, Bottas has achieved a total of 67 podiums, 19 fastest laps, 20 pole positions, just under 1,800 points and a total of 10 victories. He is heading for a new era in his career in this sport. With high expectations for Audi and its arrival in Formula 1 in 2026, it is most likely that a driver with a lot of experience, such as Valtteri Bottas, is what the Germans will need.