F1 Rumor: Valtteri Bottas Linked To William Seat After Meeting Took Place At Imola

The Finnish driver was seen leaving a 15-minute meeting with James Vowles.
Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas / Sauber Press Image

Autosport has reported that Valtteri Bottas has today had a 15-minute meeting with Williams team principal James Vowles. This comes as the Grove outfit is looking for potential candidates to replace the struggling Logan Sargeant from the beginning of the 2025 season.

Vowles and Bottas have a long history together from their time in Mercedes, with the two creating one of the most well known F1 memes in 2018 after the famous line, "Valtteri, it's James," came down the radio during the German Grand Prix. With an aim to stop the Finnish driver from attacking his then-teammate Lewis Hamilton, the message became almost legendary with fans.

But now, with Williams looking to potentially bolster its driver lineup further after confirming a long-term contract with Alex Albon, the Sauber driver was seen leaving a 15-minute meeting with the Briton. Sauber, with its title sponsor, Stake, are actively pursuing a different driver lineup to their current which sees Bottas partner with Chinese driver Zhou Guanyu. Nico Hulkenberg is already confirmer to take a seat next year, but currently there's been no confirmation which seat he will take. But on top of this, Audi, which is taking over the team, is pursuing a driver contract with current Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, who is losing his seat at the end of this season.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that both Bottas and Zhou will be looking for a different seat come 2025, and Williams could be Bottas' saving grace considering the relationship he has with his former strategy chief.

As quoted by PitPass, Vowles said this in regards to Sargeant's future in the team:

"I don't want to sully what I think is a really positive message, that we have someone committing to the long-term future of Williams. I'm looking, at the moment, at about three options for 2025 and 2026. It's as simple as that.

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

He continued:

"We've had a direct conversation which is a very hard converstaion. The simple matter of fact is he's at risk. 

"He has to perform above what he is. It's meritocracy. I'm helping him on his journey and want him to be successful.

"In the mean time, we are talking to a few other drivers because we have to, to get our 2025, 2026, 2027 line-up correct.

"I would say in a few weeks you will see some potential news in that area."

Alex Harrington


Alex is the editor-in-chief of F1 editorial. He fell in love with F1 at the young age of 7 after hearing the scream of naturally aspirated V10s echo through his grandparents' lounge. That year he watched as Michael Schumacher took home his fifth championship win with Ferrari, and has been unable to look away since.