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MOTORSPORTS | Jun 12

Contract Countdown: Sainz is Running Out of Options

Carlos Sainz Is Still Without a Racing Seat for 2025 After Ferrari Announced Lewis Hamilton’s Signing

Contract Countdown: Sainz is Running Out of Options
Carlos Sainz | Eric Alonso / DPPI / DPPI via AFP

Smooth Operator 🏎️

He’s intelligent in how he approaches things, logical, incredibly quick… -James Vowles

The F1 rumor mill is in overdrive this “Silly Season,” and Carlos Sainz is right in the middle of the hot mess! The Spaniard got bumped from Ferrari to make way for Lewis Hamilton, and he’s been scrambling for a new team for months. However, as the weeks have progressed, his options have narrowed significantly. Now, Sainz faces a critical decision with two primary paths: Sauber or Williams.

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The Big Boys Doors Close

Carlos Sainz initially targeted top teams like Red Bull and Mercedes, but his dream of joining a championship-winning team might be going up in smoke! Red Bull announced to F1 news they decided to stick with “Checo” Perez, slamming the door shut on Sainz. Over at Mercedes, team boss Toto Wolff seems more interested in giving their young gun Kimi Antonelli a shot.

This leaves Sainz with two realistic options: Sauber, which will rebrand as Audi in 2026, and Williams. Both teams have expressed interest, but Williams has been particularly proactive, putting a multi-year contract on the table with a clause allowing Sainz to leave in 2026 if a better opportunity arises. This flexibility is appealing to Sainz, who aspires to return to a top-tier team in the future.

 

Williams Is Aching to Have Sainz Onboard

Williams has made no secret of their desire to sign Carlos Sainz. Team principal James Vowles has publicly confirmed that Sainz is their “number one target.

Vowles told Sky F1. “He’s a race-winning driver that last year, against all odds, beat Max [Verstappen] in Singapore with a brilliant drive and that’s not the first time.

He’s intelligent in how he approaches things, logical, incredibly quick. What he did this year in Shanghai, it’s going to sound like a negative, it’s not, in qualifying he crashed and we’ve all been there to a certain extent, it’s an impressive athlete that can reset themselves, go back out and then beat your teammate [sic] in that condition.

And I think that shows you just how strong he is as a driver. I think any team on the grid would be fortunate to have someone like Carlos alongside them.

The historic British team is about to get a major cash boost from their new owners, the Dorilton investment group. And they’re willing to give Sainz some pretty sweet perks to join their team. This might not have been Sainz’s first choice, but hey, a good offer is a good offer, right?

 

Sauber’s Potential as an Audi Driver

On the other hand, Sauber presents a different kind of opportunity. With the team set to rebrand as Audi in 2026, there is potential for significant investment and development. Audi’s entry into F1 is expected to bring substantial resources and technical expertise, which could make Sauber a competitive team in the future.

However, the transition period until the 2026 F1 schedule might be challenging. Sainz would need to endure a few years in a midfield team before potentially reaping the benefits of Audi’s involvement. This long-term gamble might pay off, but it also carries risks, as there’s no guarantee of immediate success when the new regulations take effect.

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