Bottas fears Stake struggles could impact his driver market value

Valtteri Bottas has acknowledged that the difficulties currently limiting results for Stake could impact his chances in this year’s driver market, as he ponders potential options in Formula 1 outside of the team.

The Sauber-run team has yet to score a point this season as it has struggled for performance on certain tracks, but also been severely hampered by pit stop issues. In Japan, a strong result slipped away from Bottas after he had been in the fight for Q3 on the Saturday. A full fix for the pit stop issue is not due until Imola and the Finn — who is out of contract at the end of this season — admits it’s harder to catch the eye when such opportunities are missed.

“That’s how motorsports works — sometimes it’s more difficult to show what you can do,” Bottas said. “I think the people that really look into the details and try to see how each driver is performing, they will see. But I would say that for the outside world, it’s tricky. When you’re not scoring, you’re almost hidden, in a way.


“I feel like I’ve had a couple of good qualifying sessions and good races so far, but they have been always compromised — something has happened, either on the stops or [something] else. All I can do is try and perform the best I can, so hopefully, the right people will see that.

“Absolutely [the team can see it]. They know the work I’ve been putting in. Like last week, still testing for two days in Japan, non-stop, I did five race distances, then flew overnight and went straight into the simulator doing the correlation. So they know.”

Stating that remaining at Stake — set to become the Audi works team in 2026 — is not his only opportunity for next year and that he has multiple options within F1, Bottas acknowledges it could be dangerous to wait to finalize his next contract given the number of drivers available.

“I think there are things that will start happening quite soon,” he said. “Like, now, obviously Fernando [Alonso] has decided to stay with Aston, so that’s done. And, actually, there are not that many falling pieces anywhere.

“Of course there are questions on some drivers, like what is Carlos [Sainz] going to do? What’s Mercedes going to do? All these things. So, I would say ideally within the next few weeks it starts getting sorted. We’re working on it, for sure — talks have started, so it should be an interesting few weeks ahead.”

Story originally appeared on Racer