Carlos Sainz is negotiating with these three teams

The F1 driver market presents huge risks and opportunities to Carlos Sainz.

Carlos Sainz is still searching for a 2025 F1 contract, with several options available to him. Multiple teams are interested in his services next season, though this does not necessarily mean he is their first choice. Sainz can take two broad approaches. The safest path involves accepting the offer currently on the table from Sauber. A more aggressive approach, and potentially more rewarding one, involves waiting for Red Bull and Mercedes to make their move.

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Sauber’s interest in Sainz persists

At this stage, multiple drivers have been linked to Audi-owned Sauber. The Swiss outfit has already confirmed the arrival of Nico Hulkenberg in 2025. The Haas driver was widely expected to join Sauber, fitting many of the criteria for Audi in the short and medium term.

However, Carlos Sainz has also been repeatedly cited as a top priority target. His achievements in F1 put him among the more accomplished drivers on the grid, whilst his record against Charles Leclerc is commendable. In this sense, Audi’s interest is perfectly understandable.

Whilst there have been reports that patience is running thin from the Hinwil-based squad, Sainz insists that option remains.

The question, of course, is for how much longer that offer is on the table. Moreover, it is unclear that the Ferrari driver is convinced by the Audi project. Whilst the Swiss team offers a near-guaranteed seat, their competitiveness in 2026 is unknown.

Of course, they are likely to be near the back of the field next year.

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Red Bull and Mercedes 

Understandably, interest from Red Bull and Mercedes has influenced the Spaniard’s approach. Neither team is likely to confirm next year’s line-up anytime soon. Christian Horner’s team will evaluate Sergio Perez and the RB duo. Meanwhile, Toto Wolff continues to assess Kimi Antonelli.

Red Bull is understood to be the more realistic option for Sainz, with Christian Horner reportedly interested in his services. Understandably, he wants to wait for the potential to join the team currently leading the Constructors.

Although Mercedes are very keen on signing Antonelli, it should not be assumed he will be promoted immediately in 2025. Assuming this is the face, Williams has made clear they will only sign a driver on a multi-year deal. In this scenario, Sainz would have some stability at the Silver Arrows.

Of course, there is plenty of risk associated with this path.

It is now the Ferrari driver’s responsibility to weigh the risk and reward of the choices in front of him.


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