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Carlos Sainz wants F1 future secured “sooner rather than later”

Carlos Sainz is eager to ensure that negotiations with F1 teams about a 2025 seat are accelerated.

Carlos Sainz has been at the centre of F1 driver market conversations in 2024. Since Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari announced their multi-year partnership in February, Sainz’s next destination has become a major storyline. With Fernando Alonso extending his contract with Aston Martin, the 29-year-old’s future is again at the forefront. With talks still ongoing, Sainz is eager to reach an agreement as quickly as possible.

Are Red Bull and Mercedes realistic options?

Red Bull and Mercedes are the two front-runners without confirmed seats for next season. However, the reigning Champions have insisted that a decision on their driver line-up will not be rushed. Despite Christian Horner’s praise for Sainz after his Australia victory, Red Bull’s next move is unclear. Owing to their position as Formula 1’s best team, they have no shortage of options. Unfortunately for Sainz, their timeline could force him to wait until summer and – potentially – miss out on opportunities elsewhere.

Mercedes, meanwhile, has mentioned almost every free agent as a possibility for next season. Toto Wolff has mentioned Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, Sebastian Vettel, and Kimi Antonelli as viable options. Of all these names, Antonelli is understood to be the most plausible. Even if Mercedes are interested in the 29-year-old, Sainz is unlikely to be interested in the prospect of acting as a stop-gap for the German constructors’ emerging talent.

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Time is of the essence

Amidst all this speculation, establishing certainties is important. At this stage, Audi has shown concrete interest in reaching an agreement with Carlos Sainz. The German manufacturer is still a relatively unknown quantity in Formula 1, but their status as a manufacturer gives them – in theory – limitless potential. For someone like Sainz looking for a long-term destination, their project might be worth investing in.

However, more established engine suppliers like Mercedes are almost certainly safer bets for 2026. Few would predict Red Bull to be surpassed by a newcomer in two years’ time, either. In this sense, a move to Audi is perhaps a secondary or tertiary option for Carlos Sainz. Still, the German brand will be more willing than these teams to offer the Spaniard a multi-year contract.

Audi and Sainz both emphasise urgency

Another factor to emphasise is the urgency of these respective parties to reach an agreement. Audi is understood to be pushing for a decision to be agreed upon relatively quickly. Unlike the squad based in Milton Keynes, there is a sense of urgency to finalise plans for 2025.

Carlos Sainz has echoed a similar sentiment. The three-time race winner also wants to reach a deal sooner rather than later. This is understandable, given that waiting until the summer could leave him vulnerable to missing out.

F1’s driver market often sees one domino trigger others to follow very quickly. In this sense, Fernando Alonso’s contract could create a sequence of changes elsewhere.


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