Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Bottas visibly upset by organizational change at Sauber


There was a transparent air of frustration emanating from Valtteri Bottas through the Finn’s media duties for Sauber on Thursday in Miami.

It was clear for all to see that one thing was simmering beneath the pores and skin of the often cool and composed Sauber driver.

The supply of his irritation? The shocking discovery upon his arrival on the observe that his race engineer, Alex Chan, had been changed by Sauber.

Bottas’ demeanor and tone through the FIA press convention left little doubt that this was a change he neither anticipated nor supported, particularly on the eve of a Dash weekend that at all times consists of its personal set of challenges.

“Yeah, it was fairly a sudden change,” he stated. “Clearly, it is a dash weekend, so working with a recent man will likely be not straightforward, however attempting to take advantage of out of it.

“He is getting a number of assist. However yeah, it is fairly a sudden change.”

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Together with Williams and Alpine, Sauber has but to place a single championship level on the board after 5 races.

However past the workforce’s lacklustre outcomes, its efficiency degree has at all times been unremarkable, though Bottas succeeded in making the top-ten shootout in qualifying for the primary time this season final outing in Shanghai.

The Finn reckoned that Sauber’s sudden determination to switch his race engineer is a part of the Swiss outfit’s knee-jerk efforts to tug itself out of the doldrums.

“I believe it is a part of the sort of reconstruction for the workforce,” he stated.

“There’s some folks leaving, some folks becoming a member of. And clearly, lots of these choices, they don’t seem to be in my palms. I do not do these choices.”

It’s doubtless that Bottas’ seen frustration wasn’t solely as a result of sudden race engineer change. It was maybe additionally sourced within the current information of Nico Hulkenberg’s signing as Audi’s first driver for 2025.

The Finn knew beforehand that his future with the Hinwil squad was up within the air. However Audi/Sauber’s announcement imply that Bottas and teammate Zhou Guanyu will now be combating for a hypothetical remaining seat with the workforce.

The sudden adjustments and the looming competitors for a single seat with Audi – to not point out the rumors of Carlos Sainz probably finishing the workforce’s 2025 line-up – clearly solid a shadow over Bottas’ Miami weekend.

“In fact, the timing is sort of early and just a little bit shocking,” he admitted. “However the driver market is beginning to transfer, and it additionally sort of is sensible.

“He is German, and Audi has made it fairly clear that they need a German driver, so it is all good. Let’s have a look at what occurs subsequent.”

Though he would doubtless welcome a long-term contract with Audi, that now looks as if a really distant prospect. Bottas hinted that he’s exploring different choices in F1, with Williams cited as a doable.

“I’m talking to a number of groups, some talks have superior greater than others,” he stated.

Maybe the ten-time Grand Prix winner may additionally return to Mercedes for a one-year stint ought to the Brackley squad want to put together teenage younger gun Andrea Kimi Antonelli for a further yr earlier than his promotion to the large time.

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