Valtteri Bottas believes Sauber has all of the ingredients to become a front-running team in Formula 1 if it uses added investment from Audi wisely.
Audi will partner with Sauber in 2026 under new power unit regulations, but planning for the project is already well underway. Bottas joined the team — that will remain known as Alfa Romeo until the end of this year — 12 months ago and feels it has the foundations already in place to be able to work its way towards the top teams on the grid.
“Absolutely, all of the potential is there that I’ve seen with the people,” Bottas told RACER. “It feels like quite a young team and there’s lots of people that think outside the box, which is good. Facilities at the factory are great, the wind tunnel is great…
“For sure it is on the smaller side as a team in terms of the people if you compare it to Red Bull or Mercedes, but I know there will be progress made on that, so having a few more people and maybe a bit more money will make a difference. For example, on the production of the parts, the lead times (in 2022) were quite long — fixing that kind of thing can make a big difference for the season.”
Bottas’ knowledge of a championship-winning team after his spell at Mercedes is something that the Finn has been leaning on to try and provide direction to Alfa Romeo since joining.
“Of course I’ve tried to take everything from my past experience, whether it’s technical or whether it’s operational. That was I think a bigger thing in the first half of the year.
“Always when I saw something I’d say, ‘The guys on the other side of the paddock think like this.’ But even mechanically in the car I was able to implement some setup tools that I used to have in previous cars but not in last year’s car. So of course you take all the experience you can.”