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Valtteri Bottas

Bottas addresses Audi's 'cold feet' F1 rumours

Valtteri Bottas has addressed the recent rumours suggesting that Audi could pull the plug on its Formula 1 project for 2026.

Bottas Qatar
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Reports surfaced late last year that Audi was contemplating shutting down its plans to join the grid.

The German manufacturer is currently set to take over the Sauber-owned squad that currently operates as Stake when new technical regulations come into play in two years' time.

Stake's Team Representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi clarified that a lack of publicity over Audi's impending entry was due to Sauber's existing partnership with Alfa Romeo, which concluded at the end of last season.

Speaking to media including RacingNews365, Bottas asserted that Audi is still committed to arriving on the grid in 2026.

“I think it's just rumours from what I understand and what I've heard,” he said. “They're still fully committed for the future.

Cooperation to begin soon

Audi's driver line-up has been a topic of interest ever since the organisation announced its F1 project.

RacingNews365 previously reported that Audi is eyeing up Nico Hulkenberg as one of its drivers, ensuring it has an experienced name in its arsenal.

Bottas has also expressed his interest in racing for the squad but admitted that he is not opposed to returning to Mercedes when ex-teammate Lewis Hamilton departs for Ferrari next year.

The Finn stated that he expects the cooperation between Sauber and Audi to increase in the coming months as the latter gears up towards its F1 debut.

“I think the cooperation will start sometime soon, I would imagine if Audi already wants to be competitive in their first year,” he said.

“Sauber and Audi will need to work together but that's all going on behind the scenes.

“As a driver, whatever meetings or stuff is happening behind the scenes, we are not always aware of those things. But things are starting to pick up now.”

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