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F1 star claims 'politics' behind rival driver signing

F1 star claims 'politics' behind rival driver signing

F1 star claims 'politics' behind rival driver signing

F1 star claims 'politics' behind rival driver signing

A 10-time race-winner has claimed that 'politics' are behind his team's signings as they begin to build for the future.

With half of the Formula 1 grid for 2025 still to be confirmed, pressure is growing on a number of out-of-contract stars as they look to secure a seat for next year.

READ MORE: Wolff drops HUGE clue over Hamilton F1 replacement at Mercedes

Now that a quarter of the current campaign has been consigned to the history books, time is running out for the likes of Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez to prove they can deliver big performances in a bid to catch the eye of potential suitors.

Though not officially joining the grid until 2026, Audi have already secured the signature of Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg, and have reportedly identified Ferrari star Carlos Sainz as their main target to fill the remaining vacant seat.

Should that move become reality, the Spaniard would join Hulkenberg at Sauber next season, which isn't good news for former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas.

Valtteri Bottas is out of contract at Sauber at the end of this season
Carlos Sainz has been strongly linked with a move to Audi

What does the future hold for Bottas?

Given the Finn is out of contract at Sauber this season, it would appear he will be forced to seek options elsewhere.

In an interview with Mundo Deportivo, the 34-year old admitted that 'politics' played a key role in the team's decision to recruit Hulkenberg in particular, given Audi's ambition to bring in a German driver.

He said: "There are a lot of politics in F1, it's part of the game, we have to live with it.

"Yes, sometimes you see its good side and other times its bad side, but it has always been part of the sport because it is big business."

On rumours that Sainz is being lined up to take his spot at Sauber, he added: "It's a surprising situation based on the information that I've been receiving over the last year or so.

"I'm not worried about my future."

READ MORE: Newey could SNUB Hamilton for rival F1 team role

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Carlos Sainz Daniel Ricciardo Sergio Perez Haas Nico Hulkenberg Audi
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