Valtteri Bottas explains 15-minute Williams motorhome visit which sparked rumours

Valtteri Bottas was spotted visiting Williams' hospitality on Saturday at Imola.

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Sauber. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola, Italy, Qualifying
Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Sauber. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Emilia…

Valtteri Bottas has explained the reasoning for his public visit to the Williams motorhome in the Imola F1 paddock.

The Sauber driver was spotted leaving the Williams hospitality building ahead of qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Saturday, with Autosport reporting that Bottas had a 15-minute meeting with team principal James Vowles.

Williams are currently evaluating who to place alongside Alex Albon for F1 2025, with Vowles admitting that the under-pressure Logan Sargeant is “at risk” of losing his seat next season.

Bottas is out of contract and also faces an uncertain future. With Nico Hulkenberg already confirmed at Sauber for 2025, the team that will become Audi in 2026 are rumoured to be interested in signing Carlos Sainz or one of the Alpine drivers.

Such a decision would leave Bottas without a drive and on the hunt for a seat elsewhere.

The 10-time grand prix winner has been linked with a return to Williams, the team with whom he started his F1 career in 2013 and raced for until earning a move to Mercedes in 2017.

When asked how regularly he visits his former team, Bottas replied: “Sometimes!”

“[James] is a good friend of mine. I ran out of coffee in our motorhome so I needed to get some from there.”

Bottas was tight-lipped when pressed for details on what was discussed during the meeting.

“[It was] normal things, about life!” he said. “Of course, when you’re on the free market, you want to check around what’s out there.

“It’s a pretty normal situation being you’re on the free market.”

Bottas outqualified Sargeant on his way to taking 16th place on the grid for Sunday’s grand prix. He also outpaced teammate Zhou Guanyu, who is another driver under threat of being left without a drive for next season.

Vowles has admitted Williams are evaluating their options for 2025, with Sainz believed to be among the candidates. 

“I’m looking and, at the moment, it’s about three options for 2025/’26, it’s as simple as that,” he said.

“When we’re in a position where I can talk about it openly, which won’t be long, we will do.

“But, for now, the direction of travel is we know that we need to be performing at the highest level.

“Logan has control in his hands, making sure he’s performing at that level. That’s his ability to control.

“I haven’t taken that away from him. But what’s clear is we also need to be talking to others. And we are.”

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