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Bottas: No reason Sauber can't win if it gains investment

Valtteri Bottas reckons there is "nothing to indicate” the Sauber team cannot win in Formula 1 again as it is poised to gain major investment from Audi for 2026.

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Antonin Vincent / DPPI

Audi has today announced in a press conference at Spa that it will enter F1 as a powertrain manufacturer from the start of the new-for-2026 engine rules cycle, whereby the MGU-H will be eliminated, and fully sustainable fuel adopted.

Although official confirmation is still pending, it is widely expected that Audi will enter in collaboration with Sauber and that the cars' chassis will be built at its Swiss facility in Hinwil.

Sauber, which currently runs under Alfa Romeo branding, is operating well within the current yearly budget cap of £123million (latterly increased by 3.1% owing to inflation).

But a requirement for its owner Finn Rausing to accept Audi's investment, on top of buying the share, is understood to be a further £250m to develop the team and preserve jobs.

This will theoretically help resolve Sauber's current limitation, which former Mercedes grand prix driver Bottas reckons is a lack of "human power" to produce upgraded parts.

Should this be amended, Bottas reckons there is "nothing that would indicate" the team could not be victorious once again.

Bottas said: "In terms of how the factory is, and obviously the people we have at the moment, yes, it can be [a front-running squad].

"But I think the fact is, there's still some teams that have more working power, more people.

"I would say we're lacking a bit of human power at the production, which means that even if there would be some bits that are already drawn and tested in the wind tunnel that are faster, we just can't physically make them fast enough to get it in the car quickly.

"So that means there's more potential, and I think we're getting there.

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Alfa Romeo

"What I've seen of the wind tunnel and the factory, the facilities are there. There's nothing that would indicate it's not possible to win."

Alfa Romeo is currently sixth in the 2022 constructors' championship and on course for its best finish since 2012, when it scored four podiums.

Its sole race win came in 2008, when Robert Kubica scored victory in the Canadian GP.

That spell between 2006 and 2009 was the last time it ran with an integral manufacturer partner in the form of BMW, but the German manufacturer pulled out amid the financial crisis - having directed resources into the 2009 rules change to kill its major 2008 title hopes.

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Amid the Audi tie-up, Bottas says he still plans to be racing in F1 come the marque's arrival in 2026.

Replying to Motorsport.com, he said: "I really feel at this moment [ I can continue]. I'm really enjoying it. I still feel like I can drive fast.

"In the future, I don't see any reason why not. I still feel I have lots to give for the sport."

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