Valtteri Bottas among the favourites to join Williams

Jaden Diaz

Although Valtteri Bottas is without a contract for 2025, the Finn is in a relatively strong position in the F1 driver market. Bottas is negotiating with several teams, with Williams – the team he started his F1 career with – presenting itself as an increasingly viable option.

Since last summer, Sauber’s hesitance about retaining Valtteri Bottas has been clear. Whilst the 34-year-old maintained at the end of 2023 and early 2024 that staying at Hinwil was his priority, the situation has changed. With the Swiss outfit agreeing to a multi-year deal with Nico Hulkenberg (and Sainz, among other options, still being available), looking for seats elsewhere on the grid is logical for the 10-time race winner.

Of course, Sauber’s C44 machine is not the most competitive. Bottas and teammate Zhou Guanyu are yet to score points this year. A combination of operational mistakes and limited performance from the Hinwil team’s 2024 challenger have contributed to this.

Still, even with this limited machinery, the former Mercedes driver is driving at a high level. His 2024 record against Zhou in qualifying is 7-0, with the #77 showing especially good pace in Australia, Japan and China.

To be clear, Zhou is beating the Finnish driver in their race head-to-head (3-2). The Chinese driver has been plagued by misfortune and occasional unforced errors in qualifying, but his race pace is still solid.


(L to R): Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Sauber C44 and Zhou Guanyu (CHN) Sauber C44.
05.05.2024. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Race Day.
–, EMail: © Copyright: Charniaux / XPB Images


Returning to Bottas’ future, his CV is among the most impressive on the F1 grid. His speed and experience make him a valuable asset and known quantity for teams looking to strengthen their driver line-ups.

It is understood that negotiations are already underway between the 34-year-old and Williams. James Vowles, team principal of the Grove-based team, outlined in Imola that Logan Sargeant’s seat is at risk. Moreover, he confirmed reports that Williams is negotiating with several drivers. Bottas is among them, a fact made abundantly clear as he exited the British team’s motorhome last weekend.

Bottas prioritises a multi-year contract, which has been a consistent theme in recent years. Simultaneously, James Vowles says that Albon’s next teammate will have at least a two-year deal with Williams for 2025 and 2026. In this sense, the priorities of both parties have plenty of overlap.

Of course, there are no guarantees at this stage. Bottas must now cement himself as the best option for the man once in charge of his strategies at Mercedes. Given the multitude of drivers available, this will not be an easy task.

In any case, the Williams team principal has revealed that a decision can be expected in the next few weeks. Therefore, another piece of the F1 driver market puzzle is close to falling into place. As it stands, the situation is optimistic for the Sauber driver.