Valtteri Bottas gives F1 future update as Jacques Villeneuve gets ‘feeling’ over next move

Henry Valantine
Valtteri Bottas, Sauber, 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas has said he’s not willing to play the waiting game over his F1 future as he looks for a way to remain on the grid in F1 2025.

Bottas has been linked with potential moves away from Sauber prior to their transition to Audi, though 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve expressed his belief that the Finn may even be among the drivers in contention to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next season.

Valtteri Bottas: ‘I can’t wait forever’ over F1 future decision

Villeneuve told Sky F1 in Canada that he has a “feeling” Bottas might return to the team with which he spent five seasons previously, with team principal Toto Wolff preparing youngster Andrea Kimi Antonelli for a future in Formula 1.

“I guess Bottas will go to Mercedes,” he said.

“They want a driver for one year. So who do they take? They take a driver who will take a one-year deal, knows the team, experience and prepares the seat for Antonelli.

“And then Toto will have to pay a team to put Antonelli somewhere for a year.” understands no decision has yet been taken over the F1 2025 driver line-up at Mercedes, though Wolff has acknowledged teenage Formula 2 rookie Antonelli is set to play a part in the team’s future eventually.

Speaking about his own future recently, Bottas is looking to secure his place in Formula 1 beyond the end of the season, with the Finn currently in the final year of his contract with Sauber.

The team have already signed Nico Hulkenberg on a multi-year deal for when they transition to Audi in F1 2026, but the other seat remains available.

With the manufacturer playing a waiting game on the driver market as it stands, the 10-time grand prix winner said he cannot afford to do the same thing, even though staying put remains an option.

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“I feel like at the moment, they want quite a lot of change in the team, probably,” Bottas told reporters in Canada about the current situation facing him at Sauber, for when they transition to Audi.

“Same thing with the driver line-up. That’s my how I read the situation, but they are willing to wait for a long time – but I can’t forever.

“So this team is definitely still an option, but I don’t think I have the time to wait for too long. So that’s why I want to speed things up.

“But, of course, I was personally and what I’ve been communicated within the last 12 months or so, I was always going to be part of the project, but things have been a bit more quiet lately.

“So that’s why I need to try and read the situation and kind of do my thing.”

With seats starting to fill up, while there are still options out there for the Finn, his urgency has come as a result of the market moving much earlier than usual this time around.

He is still calm about his prospects heading into next year, hinting that the coming weeks should be “interesting” for him.

“I’m confident I’m going to get a seat,” Bottas said. “But obviously in this sport nothing is confirmed, so it’s never 100 per cent sure until you’re signed.

“But at least how I see the situation at the moment, I’m not worrying. But it should be an interesting week or two ahead for sure.

“It’s something you get used to, obviously, it’s a way more comfortable feeling if you know what is happening, but at the same time, it’s kind of exciting, a kind of certain element of unknowns.

“There could be something new and exciting on the way. That’s kind of nice. But [I] just need to live with the situation.”

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