NOVEMBER 2, 2023

New F1 rumour links Toyota with Sauber

It's been a week of wild rumours in Formula 1 - and the latest involves the name of a familiar Japanese carmaker.

Valtteri Bottas, Mexican GP 2023
© Alfa Romeo

However, it's not Honda - whose plan to stay on the grid after the end of its Red Bull collaboration in 2026 by switching to Aston Martin remains on track.

Rather, the name at the centre of the new speculation is Toyota, who recently ramped up rumours of a F1 return with the signing of its Super Formula driver Ryo Hirakawa by McLaren.

According to the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti, Toyota is now being speculatively linked with Sauber - with rumours already suggesting the Swiss F1 team's Audi deal for 2026 may be in the thorny process of being called off.

The end of Audi's F1 project would be a disaster for Sauber, said correspondent Juuso Taipale. But Toyota is rumoured to be their rescuer.

Taipale explains that Toyota might buy Sauber instead and then return to Formula 1 as a full works team for the first time since pulling out in 2009.

Toyota would also supply power units to McLaren, the journalist added, although he admitted that it's just unsourced rumours and speculation for now.

But if Audi does cancel its Sauber buyout, Toyota rescuing the deal would be music to the ears of current Sauber-Alfa Romeo driver and Finn Valtteri Bottas.

The 34-year-old is already under contract for 2024, but he thinks he has easily five more years of Formula 1 left in his fuel tank.

Some teams want young, new drivers, Bottas told Finnish journalist Oskari Saari's podcast this week. "Some teams want experience.

"At the moment, my number 1 goal is getting into Audi's project. It's a big car manufacturer and they have big goals right from the start.

It could be a really good opportunity for me to get closer to the top again, the former Mercedes driver added. A big motivation and a big goal is to get closer to the top and back on the podium.