On Friday Audi confirmed it will make its debut in F1 in 2026 and revealed plans for its first engine programme which will coincide with the next-generation of power unit regulations. 

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Although there was no news about a partner F1 team, Audi is expected to buy a majority stake in the Swiss-based Sauber team, whose current sponsorship deal with Alfa Romeo will conclude at the end of next season

A decision on which team Audi will link up with will be announced by the end of the year. 

Should Audi complete a takeover of Sauber as has been widely speculated, Bottas, who turns 33 on Sunday, could be part of the German manufacturer's driver line-up if he is still racing in F1 in four years. 

Bottas described the news of Audi’s F1 entry as “exciting” during an exclusive interview with Crash.net just hours after the announcement was made. 

Asked whether a potential collaboration between Audi and Sauber would change his stance about his F1 future, Bottas replied: “The thing is, since the beginning of this year, I never had set myself any limits about when I will retire, let’s say. 

“I definitely feel like I have many more years to come and I will stick around as long as I enjoy it and as long as I can still perform and have something to give to the sport. I can see that going for many, many years. 

“I think it's exciting that there’s a new manufacturer coming into F1 but 2026 is still quite far away. We’ll see - you can ask me in one or two years!”

Bottas, a 10-time grand prix winner, believes the Hinwil outfit has the potential to compete at the very front in F1.

“The step from last year to this year has been pretty solid, and now we just need to get back to the kind of form we had at the beginning of the year,” said the Finn. 

“But the potential is there. I’ve seen how much motivation it has created to score points, it’s really uplifted the team spirit in terms of the factory. 

“The team has everything it takes to be at the top, so that gives me hope for the future.”