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Valtteri Bottas the favourite to make Williams move

Valtteri Bottas is on an expiring contract with Sauber, but his next F1 chapter will likely be elsewhere.

After eight rounds of the 2024 F1 season, Sauber are the only team without points. Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu have both come close, but various factors impeded them. In any case, the more interesting storylines at the Swiss-based team concern their drivers. Both are expected to leave in 2025, with Bottas already in advanced talks with James Vowles and Williams.

Since leaving Mercedes three years ago, the priority for Valtteri Bottas has been security. Part of what made Sauber (then branded as Alfa Romeo) such an attractive option for the Finn was their willingness to offer a multi-year deal. Fred Vasseur, who was team principal at Hinwil at the time, was confident in the 10-time race winner’s abilities. Because of this, Bottas could sign a contract in the knowledge he was in the team’s medium-term plans.

However, Sauber’s situation is very different from the summer negotiations of 2021. Audi’s acquisition of the team brings a new vision, which is reflected in their preferred driver options.

Nico Hulkenberg is already under contract for 2025 and beyond, whilst Carlos Sainz is at the top of their wish list. Even if Sainz opts against joining Sauber, it is clear that Bottas is not seen as a priority.

Valtteri Bottas, Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber, on the grid; 2024 Monaco Grand Prix, Formula One World Championship

Williams emerges as a likely destination for Valtteri Bottas

In recent months, it has become increasingly clear that Williams are active in the market. All indicators suggest that Logan Sargeant is not in the team’s future plans. Unless there is a dramatic change of heart at Grove, the American driver’s days at Grove are numbered.

James Vowles and Valtteri Bottas are understood to have held talks on multiple occasions, as reported by Only a few weeks ago, the Williams team principal hinted that news on his 2025 driver lineup is not far away.

This only confirms the growing consensus that Bottas is a front-runner to become Alex Albon’s next teammate. Inevitably, other drivers, including Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, have been on the Williams shortlist.

However, Bottas remains the most realistic option for the team. The Finn’s priority to secure a multi-year contract is congruent with James Vowles’ hopes for continuity in his driver pairing for 2025 and 2026.

Although there is still some distance to go, the 34-year-old could return to the team he began his career with.


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