Bottas: “I need to do my choice quickly” regarding F1 future

Photo Credit: Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber
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As the 2024 Formula 1 season progresses, Valtteri Bottas finds himself at a crucial juncture in his career. With numerous seats filling up for the 2025 season, the Finnish driver is feeling the pressure to decide about his future sooner rather than later.

When asked about his plans, Bottas emphasised the need for a swift decision. “I think I need to do my choice quickly. Nothing has been confirmed or signed yet from my side, so no really big news since last week. Still working with all the options that there are, and need to make a move soon. That’s basically where I’m at.”

The situation has put Bottas in a somewhat awkward position, reminiscent of other veteran drivers in similar circumstances, such as Kevin Magnussen.

When asked about the challenges of navigating the free agent market, Bottas noted, “It’s nothing strange. It’s not my first time, and it’s just the way it is. Obviously, if you know, like [for] example Lewis [Hamilton], that you’re leaving already to another team, of course things aren’t the same as if you’re going to stay there. That’s how it is.”

Despite the uncertainty, Bottas remains confident about securing a seat for 2025, with Williams or Haas looking like his options.

“I’m confident I’m going to get a seat, but obviously in this sport nothing is confirmed, so it’s never 100% sure until you’re signed. But at least how I see the situation at the moment, I’m not worrying. But yeah, it should be an interesting week or two ahead for sure.”

Handling the uncertainty is something Bottas has grown accustomed to over the years. The Finn was on a 1-year deals at Mercedes and faced into the unknown ahead of every new season during his time there.

“It’s something you get used to.

“Obviously, it’s a way more comfortable feeling if you know what is happening, but at the same time it’s kind of exciting, a certain element of unknowns. There could be something new and exciting on the way, that’s kind of nice.”

The free agent market in Formula 1 appears to be starting earlier each year, a trend Bottas attributes to high-profile moves like Hamilton’s. However, he doesn’t see this as an issue.

“I don’t see it as an issue. I think it’s nice that there’s flexibility and differences on that. Some teams are willing to wait until the last minute, but then that also provides a risk of having fewer options.”

Bottas also acknowledged that his current team, Audi, has not shown him much about next year’s car, a common scenario for drivers not yet confirmed for the upcoming season.

“I haven’t seen much about next year’s car if I’m honest. But that’s normal, that’s how it goes. That would go in the same way for any driver who is not confirmed yet.”

Reflecting on his situation with Audi, Bottas expressed some frustration about not being an automatic choice despite his record.

“I feel like at the moment they want quite a lot of change in the team. Probably the same thing with the driver line-up. That’s how I read the situation. But they are willing to wait for a long time. But I can’t forever, so this team is definitely still an option.”

“But I don’t think I have the time to wait for too long, so that’s why I want to speed things up. Of course, I was personally, and what I’ve been communicating within the last 12 months or so, I was always going to be part of the project. But things have been a bit more quiet lately.”

Despite the uncertainties, Bottas remains hopeful about Sauber’s prospects for the current season. They are the only team not to score a point so far in 2024.

“It’s still a long season, thank God.

“We still have upgrades already planned. And what is positive is that it’s super close. And it’s also track-specific. And at least the issues we’ve had with the pit stops, that’s now sorted, so we can just focus on the performance.

“I still believe that by working together we can do way better than what we’re doing now. But also saying that it’s not going to be an easy season ahead, that means hard work and some good steps.”