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Valtteri Bottas

Exclusive: Bottas in advanced talks to secure F1 future

Valtteri Bottas' F1 future will be sorted before the summer break.

Bottas Miami
To news overview © XPBimages

Valtteri Bottas is closing in on a deal to secure his place on the F1 grid for 2025.

Bottas is out of contract at the end of this season with Sauber, which for this year and next is known as Stake ahead of the takeover of Audi in 2026.

The team has already signed Nico Hulkenberg for next year and is widely known to be pursuing Carlos Sainz as his team-mate. The current Ferrari driver is stalling as he weighs up other options, with Mercedes and Red Bull in his sights.

That has forced Bottas' hand to seek a drive elsewhere. With Hulkenberg on board, and Sainz wanted, Audi's intent has been made clear to the Finn that he does not figure on their priority list.

RacingNews365 understands Williams and Alpine are firmly in the hunt to sign the 34-year-old, whose experience is being viewed as invaluable ahead of the major power unit and aerodynamics regulation changes in 2026.

Earlier this week, Williams re-signed Alex Albon to a long-term deal. Team principal James Vowles confirmed to media on Thursday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, that three options were open to him for the second seat - with incumbent Logan Sargeant understood to be on the list alongside rising star Kimi Antonelli, and Bottas.

Bottas is well known to Vowles as the duo worked alongside one another during the former's five-year spell at Mercedes where the latter was chief strategist. That resulted in the "Valtteri, it's James" opening to radio messages between the duo on occasion becoming an internet meme.

It is believed Vowles appreciates Bottas' work ethic and development feedback, alongside his speed on track, and sees him as someone who could play a key role in the team's rebuilding plans alongside Albon.

Williams would also close the circle for Bottas as he started his F1 career with the team and spent five years at Grove before moving to Mercedes.

Alpine is an intriguing option for Bottas, however, firm discussions have occurred. It is understood he has been very impressed by the work of team principal Bruno Famin who, like Vowles, is attempting to take his team back to the front of the grid.

The question for Famin, should he make Bottas a firm offer, would be who he decides to axe as Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon are also out of contract at the end of this year.

On Thursday, Bottas expressed confidence he would be racing in F1 in 2025, with Williams and Alpine emerging as the two primary options at his disposal.

"When you're in a situation that you are on the free market, you're always looking around," Bottas said at the time.

"So for a while now it's been different directions, not just one direction, because you can't rely on only one in this sport."

Bottas additionally stated any contract would need to be for more than just 2025.

"I wouldn't get one year somewhere just to be in F1, just to hang on,” he said. "I need a long-term project with clear goals and respect for what I can do and deliver. That's the main thing.

“Obviously, the faster the car the better, but the main thing is to have that security for years ahead that we can work together for the goals we set.”

Bottas asserted there was "no panic", and that he was "99 per cent" certain of signing a contract. RacingNews365 understands that will be before the summer break.

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