Valtteri Bottas admits he would be “happy to wait” until Audi’s arrival and the change of regulations in Formula 1 in 2026 to stand on the podium rostrum once more.
The Finn departed Mercedes at the end of 2021 after being involved in five Constructors’ Championship successes to make way for George Russell, ending up at Alfa Romeo on a multi-year agreement.
Whilst his venture with the Sauber-owned team began promisingly last year, Alfa Romeo has regressed rapidly, only accumulating 10 points this season to languish ninth in the standings.
However, Bottas, 34, insists he has plenty of years remaining at the top level, citing Fernando Alonso’s protracted F1 career as motivation that he can continue performing through the latter stages of his own stint.
The Spaniard, 42, continues to excel at the sharp end, scoring seven podiums since his winter switch to Aston Martin to sit third in the Drivers’ Championship at present.
“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.”
Expanding further on Alonso’s remarkable career longevity, Bottas added: “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.
“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.”
Reflecting back on his own F1 career that began back in 2013, Bottas reveals he is not ready to depart from the sport just yet, despite Alfa Romeo’s ongoing struggles.
The ex-Williams racer believes his race-winning experience makes him a valuable asset, particularly in light of Audi’s impending arrival in 2026.
“I feel like I’m definitely not going down yet,” Bottas declared.
“In this sport, once you get to this stage where you have lots of experience, then that can also be quite attractive for many teams in certain situations.”
The Sauber Group opted to hire ex-McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl last winter as its CEO to oversee the transition from an independent side into a works Audi entry.
Although Bottas has previously outlined that the Hinwil camp isn’t solely waiting for the German marque’s arrival to become competitive, he asserts the changes being made behind the scenes won’t be reflected in the results until years to come.
There have been a few structural changes,” Bottas noted. “It took some time for Andreas to discover what this team really needs, what is going to be the long-term plan, and now he’s starting to put the plan together.
“Obviously, the results of all these changes they are going to be shown, perhaps not next year, but in two, three, four years.”
When asked whether he is a patient individual, Bottas replied: “Yes and no. With certain things, yes.
“Waiting until ’26 to be back on the podium? Yes, I’m happy to wait for that.”
Bottas brought an end to Alfa Romeo’s torrid five-race run without a point last time out at the Italian Grand Prix.
However, the Italian marque remain two points behind Haas, who are a further 11 points adrift of Williams in seventh place.