Valtteri Bottas believes there is still room for improvement at Sauber as the team prepares to become Audi’s factory Formula 1 team in 2026.

Audi acquired a minority stake in the Sauber team in January, before entering the sport in 2026 with the Swiss group as a ‘strategic partner’.

Currently branded as Alfa Romeo, Bottas believes there is room for improvement for Sauber before it morphs into Audi.

There have been several high-profile signings at Sauber with former McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl appointed as the group’s CEO in December.

More recently, Seidl’s former McLaren colleague James Key was recruited to lead the team’s technical department.

“James is obviously very, very welcome to the team,” said Bottas. “He’s got lots of experience from different teams before being in different situations.

“I think he’s going to be a good addition for us, and looking forward to starting to work with him.”

The personnel signings are just a part of the building phase that the team must endure before becoming Audi’s factory F1 team.

But there are still plenty of other areas for Sauber to improve according to Bottas.

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Alfa Romeo F1 Team C43.Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Sunday 18th June 2023. Montreal, Canada.

“The basic things are there,” the Finn continued. “There’s always room for improvements; you could always get the latest machinery for every single department.

“I think there’s still work going on seeing where to invest, when to invest, because there’s a clear long-term plan.

“In the end, it’s also about human power. We’re getting there, step by step, but it is a project.”

Bottas left Mercedes at the end of 2021 to make way for rising star George Russell. Since, he has headed Alfa Romeo’s driver line-up and is understood to be contracted until the end of 2024.

The 10-time Grand Prix winner has been a stabilising force within the team since, although whether he is part of Seidl’s and Audi’s plans beyond 2024 is yet to be known.

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