The platoon will continue to run under the Alfa Romeo name in 2023, and is anticipated to return to the Sauber identity for two final interim times with Ferrari power, before its cooperation with Audi begins in 2026.
The Hinwil outfit has also seen a change of operation in recent weeks as Fred Vasseur, who hired both Bottas and Zhou, has left for a new job at Ferrari.
Meanwhile, former McLaren master Andreas Seidl has arrived in the part of CEO, while managing director Alessandro Alunni Bravi will act as platoon representative on race weekends as Seidl concentrates on the bigger picture and preparing the ground for the appearance of Audi.
Despite the complications of the change of operation, power and platoon name during the transition, and the egregious focus on medications for 2026, Bottas believes that Audi’s involvement can only be good for the platoon in the short term.
” I suppose first of all for everybody in the platoon and at the plant what’s really positive is that everything seems really stable,” he said when asked byMotorsport.com about the German manufacturer’s gradational preemption and the identity change.
” There is nearly like a concrete base for the platoon, that everything for the future, whatever happens with names and stuff, is looking good. And with Alfa Romeo still one further time with the platoon, I suppose the stylish is just to concentrate on this time.
” Obviously it’s really a shame to see Alfa Romeo leaving the sport, because I suppose it’s a great brand. And it should belong in F1. But it’s what it is, there is always changes passing in the world.
“Also we( will) see with the rest after this time, whether it’s going to be Sauber, that is not going to actually change anything in the structure of the platoon, it just changes the name. That is it.
” Knowing the support from Audi will be coming is only a positive. So we do not really have to worry about those names, or anything like that. So I suppose everyone is in a good situation.”
Zhou, who like Bottas is eyeing the possibility of staying in the camp until the Audi period, agreed that the platoon is now in a much better situation.
” From my side also I am veritably happy, originally to see how the platoon’s future settled,” he said.
” Also I have been speaking with the people around us, and everybody is veritably motivated, because the last many times have been relatively tough, people leaving or joining, new faces, new members.
” But now you really can see what’s the future for this platoon. So it makes us, the motorists and masterminds, want to do as well as we could to be getting the auto more throughout every time.”
Zhou stressed that the final time under the Alfa name was an important bone.
” This season it’s still trying to finish high for Alfa Romeo, and there are going be veritably special events at tracks like Monza for us. It’s a huge major brand, and it’s where I started my first trip in F1.
” On the other hand, looking at the platoon, I suppose it’s only going to be better because you can have further people involved in the future. So erecting Hinwil, the whole plant, it looks like it’s a veritably bright future ahead.”