Bottas rules out 2025 return to Mercedes

Mon, 17 June 2024, 09:31

Jun.17 (GMM) Valtteri Bottas admits rival Carlos Sainz holds the key to his endangered Formula 1 career.

It appears almost certain that new team owner Audi is not interested in retaining the Finn – or his Sauber teammate Guanyu Zhou – for 2025.

Ferrari refugee Sainz, however, is Audi’s top pick to pair with Nico Hulkenberg for the new works project – although the Spaniard is also being heavily courted by Williams.

Both of those teams are also being eyed by Bottas, 34.

“Yes, it pretty much depends on what Sainz does,” he admitted to Iltalehti newspaper during his own gravel cycling event in Finland at the weekend.

“After that, many pieces of the driver market will fall into place. “That (Sainz) is what teams are waiting for, and that’s why they haven’t made any decisions.”

Bottas insists he is not too stressed about his F1 future “at the moment”, but he was also very coy about whether he has even a single solid option on the table.

“I can’t give more detailed information,” he said. “Maybe there is (a contract on the table), maybe not.”

Bottas expects this weekend’s Spanish GP to be particularly busy for driver managers.

“It will probably start to happen this week, and I’ll have more information then. We’ll see if there will be a change of address for me or not,” he smiled.

What is clear is that a return to Mercedes is not going to happen for Bottas, even though he admits he has been in touch with his old team boss Toto Wolff.

“We’ve talked, we’re on good terms,” he said. “But one year at Mercedes doesn’t make much sense to me.”

So for now, Bottas’ future on the grid is very uncertain – prompting some to wonder if a full-time move into professional cycling may be on the cards.

“I don’t think we need to think about that this year,” he insisted.

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