Alfa Romeo racing star Valtteri Bottas believes he still has plenty of fuel left in him to keep him on the Formula 1 grid.
The 33-year-old, who is currently in his 11th season in Formula 1, caught up with Tom Clarkson on the Beyond the Grid podcast, to share his thoughts where he admitted to ‘intending to remain a part of the grid for many years’, as he still feels ‘young compared to some’.
He started 205 Grands Prix so far in his career, making him the fourth most experienced driver on the current grid, behind Fernando Alonso, his former Mercedes team mate, Lewis Hamilton, and Sergio Perez.
“It’s hard to say,” Bottas said on the podcast when asked if he will race into his 40s, which was shared on the F1 official website. “It obviously depends (on) the way the sport is going. What’s the situation in the sport? Which team are you in? How is the atmosphere?
“At some point, what comes to you is all the travelling. Would you rather be racing (on) another side of the globe, or would you rather actually not pack your suitcase and stay home? I think that’s going to come at some point. “It’s pretty consuming. I’m still more than happy to do it for quite a long time.
“But I’ll tell you, when I’m 39, if I go for 40. It’s hard to commit to at the moment, but I still have many, many years for sure.”
The Finn moved to Alfa Romeo from Mercedes for the start of the 2022 season, but his current contract is set to expire at the end of the 2024 campaign. As Audi is set to take over the team in 2026, Bottas was asked if he will still be around.
“I’m still young compared to some,” said Bottas, a 10-time race winner. “I’m 33. I still don’t see my Formula 1 career ending in the near future and I don’t feel any performance losses on my driving or the way I work with the team.
“It is interesting for the whole race team and company, what is happening. Of course, being part of a car manufacturer is something that you almost need if you want to win in Formula 1.”