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Stake F1 prepare for Audi era: Valtteri Bottas sees team's evolution amidst challenges

As Audi's entrance into Formula 1 looms, Valtteri Bottas acknowledges a shifting dynamic within the Stake F1 team, paving the way for the impending takeover.

The announcement of Audi's F1 venture in 2026 sent ripples through the motorsport world, with the German powerhouse recently solidifying its acquisition of Sauber, laying the groundwork for its foray into the pinnacle of racing.

Although the team currently operates under the banner of Stake, anticipation simmers for the transition to Audi's ownership, catalysed by the allure of fresh power unit regulations set to reshape the competitive landscape.

In the build-up to Audi's arrival, subtle transformations have unfolded behind the scenes over the past year and a half, gaining momentum as 2026 draws nearer. Bottas keenly observes a palpable shift in mindset among team personnel, driven by the desire to showcase their mettle.

"The mentality is crucial," Bottas asserts in an interview. "Amidst challenging seasons, demonstrating our prowess through commendable results becomes paramount to uplift the team spirit."

Acknowledging the incremental growth within Stake, Bottas underscores pivotal changes in leadership and technical departments, with further adaptations anticipated in the countdown to Audi's entry, fuelled by the German marque's aspiration for immediate success.

With his own contractual future hanging in the balance, Bottas remains resolute in his ambitions, eyeing a potential transition to Audi's stable. Reflecting on his journey with the team, formerly Alfa Romeo, the Finn recognizes the need for rejuvenation, having encountered a downturn in performance following a promising start.

"As we look ahead, joining Audi remains a top priority for me," Bottas affirms. "The prospect of leveraging my experience with a renowned manufacturer across diverse motorsport disciplines is undeniably enticing."

Yet, present challenges persist as Bottas grapples with a sluggish start to the season, marred by lacklustre finishes and pit-stop woes. Despite the setbacks, glimpses of optimism emerge as the team pushes forward with continuous upgrades, aiming to narrow the gap in the fiercely competitive midfield.

With the F1 Japan Grand Prix looming on the calendar, Bottas assumes a multifaceted role beyond driving duties, striving to buoy team morale and instil unwavering determination amidst adversity.

"Aside from piloting the car, fostering team cohesion and sustaining morale are integral aspects of my role," Bottas asserts. "Maintaining a positive demeanour is paramount to galvanize collective effort and propel us towards our objectives."

As the Suzuka International Racing Course prepares to host the next chapter of the F1 saga, all eyes remain fixed on Stake F1's journey, poised at the precipice of transformation in anticipation of Audi's impending reign.

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