Valtteri Bottas is not hugely bothered by Stake F1 Team changing his race engineer, who had spent some time with him in the Pirelli test.

Ahead of the F1 Miami GP, Bottas had a surprising race engineer change which the Finn wasn’t aware about. Steven Petrik stepped up to the role after Alex Chan was moved out, having been with the experienced campaigner since the start of his Sauber journey.

For Bottas, it was a sudden change and one where he wasn’t consulted per se. But it didn’t bother him as much as he took it on as another change and also acknowledging things which is being done keeping the Audi takeover in mind.

“I think that’s [reason] more a question for the team,” said Bottas. “Yeah, it was quite a sudden change. Obviously, it was a Sprint weekend, so working with a fresh guy was not easy, but obviously we tried to make the most out of it. But yeah, he’s getting a lot of support. But yeah, it’s quite a sudden change.

I think it’s part of the kind of reconstruction for the team. There’s some people leaving, some people joining. And obviously, yeah, many of those decisions, they are not in my hands. And yeah, so I don’t do those decisions. As I said, it says that things are changing. There’s change happening. Obviously, some changes are for the long term. I don’t obviously know all the reasons behind every decision that, like I said, is being made.

“But it just tells that, yeah, change is happening. People are leaving. People are coming in. That’s about it,” summed up Bottas, who is still fighting for the second Audi seat against several others after confirmation about Nico Hulkenberg. The Finn has his own options too as he has noted all along but only time will tell his situation.

From the team side, Stake chief Alessandro Alunni Bravi differed from Bottas in his stance. While the Finn called it a sudden change, he stated that Petrik spent time with the Finn during the two-day Pirelli tyre test in Japan, which was sort of a trial run.

The team and Bottas also spoke on the matter after China, with the things being done keeping Audi in mind. Bravi alerted that this won’t be the final call, with more changes to come in the future, being initiated by their chief Andreas Seidl.

“Andreas Seidl decided to anticipate certain decisions, and start implementing the changes that will bring the current structure towards the final structure that we will have in place in 2026,” Bravi started. “But we needed to start implementing those changes. This is not the final structure of the race team.

“As in Hinwil there is not the final structure of what we will be the Audi F1 team and the organisational chart. We wanted to start, and Andreas Seidl decided to do it immediately. Because we think that we need to bring a bit more experience, but also to bring people that can have know-how from other teams, from top teams and help us to develop our processes, our analysis.

“Of course, it’s now up to us to integrate the new engineer, and also, of course, to create, to establish a good working relationship, but also personal relationship between Valtteri and race engineer. We discussed this with Valtteri after China. There was a meeting immediately after the race. Steven Petrik was already race engineer of Valtteri in Suzuka during the two Pirelli test days.

“And we decided to anticipate this change. Of course, when you take a decision, you can always take a good or a bad decision – and only the time will prove if we have been good in taking this one. But this… there was no link between the change of the race engineer and the announcement of Nico. It was just one of the first steps that we wanted to implement, to have a new organisation also in the race team coming into place as soon as possible.”

Here’s link to a F1 Discord channel, join in to interact