Valtteri Bottas addresses retirement plans and explains why he rewards himself with beers

Valtteri Bottas has addressed any retirement rumours, stating that he would like to remain with Alfa Romeo until Audi joins the company in four years time – and says that having a beer after every race is a tradition. The 33-year-old had spent five years at Mercedes as number two driver to Lewis Hamilton before joining Alfa Romeo on a multi-year deal last year.

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso is retiring at the end of this season aged 41 and Bottas would like to compete until a similar age. When asked by Swiss newspaper Blick if he plans to stay with Alfa Romeo until Audi join them in 2026, Bottas said: “Certainly, this is still a long way off.

“I’m 33 years old, but if you look at Fernando’s age, I don’t really see any reason why I shouldn’t still be there. I am open to everything.” In his first season with Alfa Romeo the Finnish driver started strongly with a season’s best fifth placed finish at Imola.

After his early success Bottas has struggled for results in the last 10 rounds before placing 10th in the Mexico Grand Prix last weekend. The experienced driver says that signing a contract for next year with Alfa Romeo has taken the pressure off him compared to when he was signed on shorter deals with Mercedes.

READ MORE: Valtteri Bottas lifts lid on F1 drivers’ WhatsApp group and shares topics discussed by all

“There is now much less pressure from outside,” Bottas added. “I can concentrate fully on my work. I have this security for the first time in my career. It’s a very good feeling to know that next year you will also benefit from the work you put in.

“At the beginning of the season we were close to Red Bull and Ferrari, the chances of a podium were much greater than now. Mercedes has caught up, Alpine and McLaren have also become much stronger. We have been working on the car for next year for a long time and hope to be more competitive again.”

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