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‘Many of those decisions are not in my hands’ – Bottas explains ‘sudden change’ of race engineer in Miami

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 02: Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber attends the

Valtteri Bottas has given his take on the news that he will have a new race engineer for the Miami Grand Prix weekend, with the Finn admitting that the move was a “sudden change” by Kick Sauber.

Bottas had worked with Alex Chan since joining the team at the start of the 2022 season, but the 10-time Grand Prix winner will now pair up with a different race engineer as of the upcoming event in Miami.

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Asked ahead of the weekend for the reason behind the switch, Bottas responded: “I think that’s more a question for the team. It was quite a sudden change.

“It’s a Sprint weekend so working with a fresh guy will be not easy, but [we're] obviously trying to make the most out of it. He’s getting lots of support but, yeah, it’s quite a sudden change.”

On whether the change had received his blessing, Bottas suggested that the move is part of the continued development at Kick Sauber as the squad prepares to become Audi’s works team in 2026.

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 20: Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Kick Sauber C44 Ferrari on

Bottas will work with a new race engineer when he hits the track this weekend in Miami

“I think it’s part of the reconstruction for the team,” he explained. “There’s some people leaving, some people joining, and obviously many of those decisions are not in my hands.”

When it was put to Bottas that his body language suggested he was unhappy with the race engineer change, he was then pushed on what the situation said about the organisation amid the transition into Audi.

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“I think it says that things are changing," the 34-year-old answered. “There’s change happening, obviously some changes are for long-term.

“I don’t know all the reasons behind every decision that is being made, but it just tells that change is happening, people are leaving, people are coming in – that’s about it.”

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 21: Zhou Guanyu of China and Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber and Valtteri Bottas

Bottas and Kick Sauber team mate Zhou are both currently out of contract at the end of the 2024 season

It comes shortly after it was announced that Nico Hulkenberg will join Kick Sauber from Haas in 2025, with the German having stated that the move offers a “very exciting” step ahead of the squad becoming Audi’s works outfit.

With Bottas currently out of contract at the team as of the end of 2024, the Finnish driver said of the news: “The timing is quite early, and yeah, a little bit surprising but the driver market is starting to move.

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“It also kind of makes sense – he’s German, and Audi’s made it pretty clear they want a German driver. It’s all good, let’s see what happens next.”

In terms of the discussions over his own future, Bottas added: “[I’m] obviously speaking to multiple teams. Some talks have advanced more than the others, so we’ll see.”

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