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Valtteri Bottas 2025 contract chances remain uncertain

Valtteri Bottas is fighting to stay on the Formula 1 grid, but his options are slowly shrinking.

There are only three drivers on the 2024 F1 grid with more accolades than Valtteri Bottas. The Finn has taken 10 race victories and 67 podiums in his career, with the majority coming during his five-year Mercedes stint. After a euphoric debut with Alfa Romeo Sauber in 2022, Bottas faces a series of challengers to his seat.

So far in 2024, misfortune has plagued Bottas in his campaign with Sauber. A generally uninspiring C44 machine has made points difficult to attain. Even worse, the Swiss-based team continues to struggle with pit-stop issues. Their equipment is still causing stops that put the 34-year-old out of points contention.

Hulkenberg, Sainz on the Audi shortlist

Unfortunately for Bottas, there is extremely fierce competition for the remaining vacancies in Formula 1. One of the grid’s more attractive seats, Aston Martin, has just committed to a multi-year contract with Fernando Alonso. Though not directly impacting the Finn, every driver move in Formula 1 is interconnected.

Alonso’s continuation with Aston Martin means one less seat for everyone else. Specifically, it likely takes away any chances of Carlos Sainz joining the Silverstone-based team. This only leaves a handful of teams left for the 3-time race winner ahead of the 2025 season.

One of them is Sauber, which is emerging as a viable option for Sainz – largely owing to Audi’s takeover. Although Mercedes and Red Bull are still options on paper, there are obstacles to joining the operations based in Brackley and Milton Keynes. Mercedes have been vocal about their interest in courting Kimi Antonelli, whilst the reigning Champions want to wait until the summer before making any decisions.

Limited options for Bottas

If Carlos Sainz wants to secure his F1 future early – something he’s claimed previously – then Sauber is an increasingly likely choice. This complicates things for Valtteri Bottas, especially with Nico Hulkenberg seen as very likely to become a member of Audi’s constructor operation in 2026.

This will force Bottas, like most drivers, to probe all alternatives elsewhere in Formula 1. A potential return to Williams, for example, might be viable for the 34-year-old if Logan Sargeant fails to improve his currently underwhelming performances. Still, this is just speculation about scenarios which are yet to materialise.

Fundamentally, the former Mercedes driver is in a race against time to keep his F1 career alive. Perhaps most frustratingly, his machinery will make it difficult to secure the landmark results necessary to convince rivals. His performances to start the 2024 campaign have been impressive – but this may not be enough in such a hotly contested market.


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