Valtteri Bottas

F1: Bottas knew he would still be driving for Alfa Romeo

(GMM) Ahead of being re-signed, Valtteri Bottas had rubbished any speculation that he might be pushed out of the Alfa Romeo-Sauber team for 2024.

Following a period of rumors, the Alfa Romeo team has now confirmed that Guanyu Zhou will get another one-year deal for next year and drive alongside Bottas.

2024 Alfa Romeo drivers Zhou Guanyu, Reserve driver Theo Pourchaire and Valtteri Bottas
2024 Alfa Romeo drivers Zhou Guanyu, Reserve driver Theo Pourchaire and Valtteri Bottas

There had been speculation of trouble between the Swiss-based team and Zhou’s sponsors.

“I have personal sponsors and I don’t know the rumors,” Zhou said this week, “but I don’t feel I’m lacking any foundations on that side.”

As for Finn Bottas, he switched from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo at the beginning of last year. Ilta Sanomat newspaper claims it was a 2-plus-1 contract, meaning two guaranteed years and 2024 as an option year.

We now know the option has been taken up.

“There is nothing to announce about next year,” he said ahead of the Singapore GP. “I have a contract for next year – it’s already fixed.

“At some point, we’ll start talking from there,” added the 34-year-old, who admits he would like to be part of the team as it transitions to full works Audi status for 2026.

“Alfa Romeo is leaving, but there is no new name (for 2024) yet,” Bottas revealed. “It could be Sauber, but of course it also depends on the sponsors and whether a big company wants to be our title sponsor.”

It has been a fallow year for the Hinwil based team, with just 10 points good enough only for second-to-last in the constructors’ standings at present.

Bottas has scored 6 of those points.

“Monza was good,” he said. “It was nice to get even one point. Better than nothing.

“But generally, this has not been an easy season. The car hasn’t been as fast as it should have been and that was an unexpected surprise.

“The goal is obviously not to be fighting down there against those teams,” Bottas said, referring to the similarly-struggling Haas and Alpha Tauri.

“But we’re getting a significant upgrade package in Singapore and if it works well, I think we can still fight for seventh in the constructors’.”

But just a few years ago, Bottas actually finished second in the drivers’ championship – ahead of the now utterly-dominant Max Verstappen.

When asked if he envies the Dutchman, Bottas smiled: “Everyone wants to win ten races in a row.

“It’s clear that everyone wants to be in the fastest car. But Max now has experience, he has talent and speed and combine that with clearly the fastest car, especially in the races, and that’s the result.

“At the same time I’m sure a lot of people were drooling about my situation when I was driving a Mercedes.”

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