Audi have confirmed that they will be entering into Formula 1 in 2026, taking over Sauber with a 75% buyout.
The team will have its power unit provided by Audi, with the German car manufacturer being confident of creating a car and power unit capable of fighting for wins within only a couple of years.
Currently Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas sees no reason why he could not be a candidate to race for the team in their maiden year in the sport, with the Finn not planning on leaving Formula 1 any time soon.
“I will be 37 years old then, so why not,” he said when quizzed about racing for Audi in 2026.
“Super talented young people are always coming in now, but experience has always been valued in Formula 1.
“It would be interesting to be involved in that process, if it’s possible.”
The Finn has never quite reached his potential in F1 which will frustrate him, with the former Mercedes driver never being able to compete with then-teammate Lewis Hamilton for titles, often lacking the pace in comparison to the seven-time world champion.
Bottas sees Audi as another chance to fight for the top positions in F1, with the potential that his Sauber team will have after the takeover being immeasurable.
“I don’t see any obstacle to us reaching the same level as the best teams,” he said.
“Looking at the big picture, I think the collaboration between Sauber and Audi has great potential. I think any driver, especially me as I am already here, would like to be a part of the project.”
The 33-year-old says he is fully focused on success with Alfa Romeo for now, being contracted for at least next season, with an option for 2024, but believes that the sooner Audi get involved with the team the better.
“A lot depends on when and to what extent Audi will support the team before it becomes the factory team,” he explained.
“Obviously next year nothing will change because we are still with Alfa Romeo and we hope that the car will be better than this year.
“But from 2024 onwards, their support will decide a lot. If Audi helps and supports Sauber for several years, then if their power unit is powerful and reliable in 2026, anything is possible.
“We still have work to do, that’s a fact. But 2026 is not that far away,” Bottas concluded.Qualifying in P6 in Mexico, the Finnish driver will be hoping to continue his strong performances for Alfa Romeo to prove he is the right man for the job come 2026.