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Carlos Sainz still “juggling” options for 2025

Carlos Sainz has not committed to any F1 team for 2025.

The F1 driver market is perhaps the most unpredictable in recent memory. Over half the field is without a seat for next season, as teams and drivers explore their options. On paper, Carlos Sainz is someone who should command significant influence. After all, his three race victories place him as one of F1’s more decorated active drivers. Moreover, his performances against Charles Leclerc in equal machinery have been commendable since 2021.

Still, the path forward for the Spaniard is not clear. Only yesterday, Sauber announced that Nico Hulkenberg will join the team in 2025 on a multi-year deal. This agreement is hardly a surprise. The 36-year-old has been linked to the Audi-owned team for some time.

However, this confirmation is not only relevant for the German driver.

Carlos Sainz is a top priority target at Audi. The German brand has long sought after the Spaniard’s services for 2025 and beyond. Indeed, they have already sent the Ferrari driver a proposal. For several months, Andreas Seidl and the other senior personnel at the Hinwil-based team have waited for a response. It will not be much longer, however, for this patience to dissipate.

Carlos Sainz evaluating all options

Speaking on the F1 Nation Podcast, Carlos Onoro (Sainz’s agent) explained that talks are underway with “a few” teams.

This is hardly a surprise, considering that Red Bull – among others – have already voiced their interest in the 29-year-old. The more revealing insight from Onoro was his general assessment:

“The driver market has been all over the place lately, and I think we will see some movement in the upcoming weeks. But, for the moment, the juggling continues.”

For Carlos Sainz, this very strongly suggests that no decision has been made for next season. Given that established front-runners Red Bull and Mercedes are available, it is logical for the Ferrari driver to observe how the market evolves.

Unfortunately for the Spaniard, neither of these teams are guaranteed paths forward. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has mentioned a plethora of drivers as being under consideration. These names range from Max Verstappen to Kimi Antonelli.

Meanwhile, Red Bull has made clear that nothing will be decided before the summer break. Sergio Perez, who currently occupies the seat alongside Max Verstappen, could still extend his time at Milton Keynes.

Sainz is, therefore, in a tricky situation. Agreeing to Audi’s long-term contract would provide him with the security he is looking for. However, there is no guarantee the Swiss team will disrupt the established big hitters in 2026.

Simultaneously, turning down the German manufacturer puts him at the mercy of Red Bull and Mercedes. In a worst-case scenario, he could find himself scrambling to find a seat for 2025.


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