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Valtteri Bottas

Bottas defiant over F1 future as Audi doubts grow

Where will Valtteri Bottas be driving in F1 next season?

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A defiant Valtteri Bottas insists that he does have options to remain in Formula 1, should he depart the Stake team.

Stake is to rebrand as Audi for 2026, with the Ingolstadt-concern keen to have its own drivers in place for '25 to bed in and reduce the teething troubles.

Bottas is a contender for the seat, but as RacingNews365 has reported, Audi looks set to sign Nico Hulkenberg, with a big money offer on the table to Carlos Sainz, who is taking his time to consider his options.

But speaking before the Hulkenberg and Sainz news, Bottas was clear that he felt he will remain on the F1 grid.

"No it is not," Bottas replied when asked by RacingNews365 if Stake/Audi was his only option of remaining in F1.

"There are options, but at the moment, it is all focused on F1.

"I feel like things will start happening quite soon now that Fernando [Alonso] has decided to stay [at Aston Martin].

"Then there are questions about what is Carlos going to do, what is Mercedes going to do?

"I would say ideally within the next few weeks, things are starting to get sorted, and I am working on it, talks have started and so it should be an interesting few weeks."

10-time grand prix winner Bottas has made no secret of his desire to remain with the team through its transition to Audi, having joined when it was Alfa Romeo in 2022 after his Mercedes spell.

Although results have been hard to come by, with just seven points finishes in the last 40 races stretching back to seventh in the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix, Bottas remains committed to the team - and feels his recent efforts shows that.

The Finn stayed in Japan following his 14th place finish in the race for a Pirelli tyre test, and pointed this out.

"For sure they can see that and they know the work I put in," he said.

"Like last week, I was testing for two days in Japan non-stop, did five race distances and then flew overnight straight into the simulator to do the correlation."

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