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Stake F1 Team

Bottas keen to use looming contract talks as 2024 'motivation'

Valtteri Bottas is feeling prepared for the 2024 F1 season, in what will be his 12th campaign in the championship and his third for Stake Sauber.

Bottas Abu Dhabi
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Valtteri Bottas is targeting a "strong" Formula 1 campaign in 2024, believing he is "as motivated" as ever before heading into contract negotiations later this year.

2023 was a difficult year for the Finn and Stake Sauber, who spent the majority of the season towards the foot of the Constructors' Championship, with ninth in the standings and just 16 points all season, just four ahead of Haas.

Bottas was responsible for a vast majority of those points with 10 to his name, on his way to the worst season since his rookie career of 2013, taking 15th in the standings with a pair of eighth places in Bahrain and Qatar the highlights.

Several upgrades were introduced during 2023 but none elevated the team's performance to fight for points regularly, unlike rival squads Williams and what was then AlphaTauri.

However, Bottas did point out the optimism he felt towards the end of last season, and the team's newly launched C44 machine has traits of the Red Bull RB19, to go with an eye-popping livery.

Important to 'showcase' true potential

2024 in general is a big year for Bottas, as he is in need of a new contract for 2025, with the 10-time Grand Prix winner firm that he still wants to be racing for the team when Audi arrives in 2026.

Despite this being in the back of his mind, with a new car at his disposal, Bottas is in good spirits ahead of his 12th season in F1 and is motivated to push himself.

"So you know, you have to be," Bottas told select media including RacingNews365, when asked if he's motivated. "It's also my job even in the harder times, so I'd say.

"Especially when it's a new season and based on what I've seen throughout the winter and the progress and all things new. I am motivated.

"I really want to have a strong season and when you are going into your contract year, let's say, you also want to be able to show what you can do."

With him having been on the grid since making his debut for Williams at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix, Bottas is a veteran of the sport.

Whilst he does have 222 starts to his name, Bottas claimed that he is still mentally "fresh", despite the toils of the Mercedes years alongside Lewis Hamilton.

"I think mentally, I feel fresh," Bottas added.

"I feel like I've been able to process last year because in the end, for me, it was a disappointment as a result.

"But now I feel like I'm 100% over that, and I'm motivated and fresh for the new season to try and make a really strong year and showcase what I can do."

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