JANUARY 19, 2023
Bottas hoping for contract talks soon
Valtteri Bottas is hoping to settle the issue of a new Formula 1 contract "soon".
After five seasons with Mercedes, the now 33-year-old Finn inked a 'multi-year' deal with the Sauber-run Alfa Romeo ahead of last season.
It was believed the deal was for three fixed years - 2022, 2023 and 2024.
"It depends on a few different things," he said late in 2021, "but yeah - I will be there for at least three years."
However, Italy's Autosprint magazine reports that Bottas' next round of contract negotiations will need to begin early in 2023.
"I've been in this position so many times that it becomes a distraction," he said.
"Contract renewal will definitely be a topic of conversation and we hope to know soon during the year what will happen.
"For me it is important to have stability after ten years in which I did not have too much of it," Bottas added.
Bottas' contract talks will come at an interesting time, as Sauber will lose its Alfa Romeo branding at the end of the year ahead of a works tie-up - and expected buy-out - by the Volkswagen-owned carmaker Audi by 2026.
"Audi coming in is a great opportunity for the team. It brings stability and something new," said the winner of 10 career grands prix.
"But for now there will be less talk about it. Right now we're working hard on 2023 and nothing has changed. We're still Alfa Romeo.
"It will probably be from next year that things will start to change," Bottas added. "For now, everything is rather stable and everyone is focused on their work."