Valtteri Bottas issues statement on his future

Valtteri Bottas' current contract expires at the end of 2024, and it's unclear if Audi would like to retain him.

Retirement is clearly something not on Valtteri Bottas’ radar anytime soon, with the Finnish driver believing that he has “many years” left in him.

Since departing Mercedes for Alfa Romeo at the end of 2021, Bottas has returned to competing in the midfield, although his results haven’t been great.

2023 in particular has been a very challenging season for the Finnish driver, with the Hinwil-based team sitting ninth in the Constructors’ Championship.

Bottas has claimed just three top-10 finishes from the 14 completed races this season, with his last points finish having come recently at the Italian Grand Prix.

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In the Finn’s defence, it hasn’t necessarily been his fault, with Alfa Romeo’s package simply not being competitive enough.

With him being contracted to the team until the end of 2024, he will at least have one more season with the Swiss outfit, who’ll simply be known as Sauber next year.

Alfa Romeo are departing the side at the end of the current campaign, ahead of Audi’s merge with Sauber in 2026.

Bottas seemingly is keeping an eye on the developments of Audi’s arrival to the sport, which is being led by ex-McLaren boss Andreas Seidl.

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The 34-year-old is confident that he can continue racing in F1 for “many years”, with him using 42-year-old Fernando Alonso as a motivation.

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

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

“And that’s also now my motivation, to try and get good results, to maximise everything every weekend and also work hard with the team off the track.”

Alonso is continuing to perform at his very best despite being in his early 40s, to the extent that he’s claimed seven podiums in his maiden Aston Martin campaign.

Astonishingly, the Spaniard doesn’t look set to slow down anytime soon, with Bottas recognising that the two-time World Champion is an “outlier”.

“He’s perhaps an outlier. It’s not been done many times in this sport that you can still be super competitive at that age,” said Bottas.

“Every person is different, every driver is different, but, as I say, he’s maybe a bit of an outlier. But he’s still quite motivating to see that and definitely an example.”

Whilst Alonso has claimed seven podiums this season, Bottas has finished no higher than eighth.

The Finn’s last podium came at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, in what was his penultimate Mercedes appearance.

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Bottas admits that he can be patient in regard to waiting for another podium, with him insisting that he’s “happy” to wait until Audi’s arrival in 2026 to return to the top three.

“Yes and no. With certain things, yes,” added the Finn.

“Waiting until ’26 to be back on the podium? Yes, I’m happy to wait for that.”