Valtteri Bottas Expects Podium Finish Only After Audi’s Entry and F1 Regulations Change in 2026

Valtteri Bottas expresses his willingness to remain patient as he awaits another podium finish in Formula 1. Bottas, who will leave Mercedes at the end of the year, cites the entry of Audi into the sport in 2026 and the predicted changes to F1 regulations as the reasons behind his optimism. Despite Alfa Romeo’s struggles, with just 10 points this season and ninth place in the standings, Bottas draws inspiration from Fernando Alonso’s successful career at the age of 42. He believes that he still has many years of competitiveness left and is determined to prove himself with strong results.

Reflecting on his own F1 journey, which began in 2013, Bottas is not ready to leave the sport just yet. He sees his experience of winning races as a valuable asset, particularly considering the forthcoming arrival of Audi. The Sauber Group, now under the leadership of former McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl as CEO, is undergoing structural changes to transition into the Audi works team. Bottas acknowledges that these changes will take time to yield results, estimating that their impact may become evident in two, three, or even four years.

When asked about his patience, Bottas admits to being both patient and impatient depending on the situation. However, he affirms his contentment with waiting until 2026 to stand on the podium again. Despite Alfa Romeo’s recent struggles, Bottas managed to break their five-race pointless streak at the last Italian Grand Prix. However, they still trail the Haas F1 Team by two points and the gap with Williams has widened to 11 points.

In conclusion, Bottas remains determined and motivated to achieve success in Formula 1, even as he prepares to join Alfa Romeo. He believes in the potential of the team, the upcoming changes in the sport, and draws inspiration from Alonso’s longevity in the sport.

Valtteri Bottas admits he is “happy to wait” for another podium finish until Audi enters the race and F1 regulations change in 2026.

Bottas will leave Mercedes, where he helped win five constructors’ championships, at the end of 2021, making way for George Russell and eventually signing a multi-year deal with Alfa Romeo.

Although their venture with the Sauber-owned team got off to a promising start last year, Alfa Romeo has fallen quickly, scoring just 10 points this season and languishing in ninth place in the standings.

But Bottas, 34, cites Fernando Alonso’s long F1 career as motivation, and believes he can continue to perform well into the final stages of his tenure and still has plenty of years left at the highest level he has demanded .

Alonso, 42, has been sharp since joining Aston Martin in the winter, scoring seven podiums and currently third in the drivers’ championship.

“If you look at Fernando, he’s a good example of what he can do now and still be able to perform,” Bottas told Speedcafe.

“I still have many years left. Of course, in this sport you always have to prove yourself with results.”

“My motivation at the moment is to strive for good results, make the most of everything every weekend and work hard with the team off the track.”

Commenting on Alonso’s incredible career length, Bottas said: “There are not many examples in this sport of someone still being competitive at that age.”

“Everybody is different, every driver is different. Like I said, maybe it’s a bit of an anomaly, but it’s motivation to watch and definitely a role model.”

Reflecting on his F1 career, which began in 2013, Bottas revealed that despite Alfa Romeo’s woes, he is not ready to leave the sport just yet.

The former Williams racer believes that his experience of winning a race will be a valuable asset, especially considering the arrival of Audi in 2026.

“I still think he’s indestructible,” Bottas declared.

“In this sport, when you get to this stage where you have a lot of experience, it can be very attractive to a lot of teams depending on the situation.”

Last winter, the Sauber Group chose to hire former McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl as CEO to oversee the transition from an independent team to Audi works participation.

Bottas has previously explained that Sauber is not waiting for Audi to become competitive, but claims that the changes taking place behind the scenes will not be reflected in results for several years.

“There have been some structural changes,” Bottas noted. “It took some time for Andreas to figure out what this team really needs, a long-term plan, but now he’s starting to put his plans together.”

“Obviously, the results of all these changes will probably become apparent not next year, but in two, three, four years.”

When asked if he was a patient person, Bottas replied: “Sometimes yes and sometimes no. In terms of some things, yes.”

“Will I wait until 2026 to get back on the podium? Yes, I would be happy to wait.”

Bottas ended Alfa Romeo’s five-race pointless run at the last Italian Grand Prix.

Nevertheless, the gap with the Haas F1 Team is 2 points, and the gap with Williams has widened to 11 points.

Category: F1 / Valtteri Bottas / Sauber F1 Team / audi / Alfa Romeo F1 Team

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