Carlos Sainz continues to trouble Audi: The Ferrari star may be waiting for Mercedes and Red Bull

Carlos Sainz continues to trouble Audi: The Ferrari star may be waiting for Mercedes and Red Bull

“Unfortunately, I don’t know where I will drive next year,” said the 29-year-old Spaniard, who will have to give up his place at Ferrari for Lewis Hamilton at the end of 2024, in an interview with “Sky.”.

He added to “DAZN”: “You can see this and this. On the one hand, it’s a shame not to be able to continue next year because things are going well with Ferrari at the moment. Also in collaboration with my engineers and mechanics do not continue to be “It’s a little annoying to be able to do that. “

“But on the other hand, it opens up the possibility of moving to another team with which I can hopefully fight for the World Championship. I’ve been trying to do that at Ferrari for three or four years now. It’s time to make important decisions and “To see what options are there. But people know that I’m available – and that I can drive fast,” said Sainz.

The outgoing Ferrari driver is considered the preferred candidate by Audi boss Andreas Seidl. Audi is pushing for a quick decision and would like to sign the contract today instead of tomorrow. But Sainz is not in a hurry. He knows that he also has opportunities at Mercedes and Red Bull. And he probably won’t sign for Audi as long as he doesn’t get rejected by any team.

Sainz is talking to (almost) all the teams

He is also said to have had inappropriate contact with Aston Martin. His father Carlos Sr. he recently visited almost all the teams that could be theoretically considered and indicated their availability with small talk. And Lawrence Stroll could look for a driver if Fernando Alonso leaves the team.

“It is true that we are talking to several teams. In fact, almost all of them,” confirmed Sainz. “I have to focus on my work and prove to myself and everyone else that I can deliver with a strong car.”

But: “It also depends on what other people on the other team want. They know it’s available.”

Mercedes: Will Sainz come if Verstappen cancels?

This is especially true for Mercedes. According to rumors, Toto Wolff is currently waiting to see if he can get Verstappen. If the coup succeeds, there will be no room for Sainz. But if not, then Sainz is considered the top favorite to succeed Hamilton. A lot of people in the paddock say that because he’s as fast as Alonso but he’s easier to take care of.

And then there is Red Bull Sainz started his career in 2015 and 2016 with the Red Bull team then the B team Toro Rosso. During the 2017 season he moved to Renault. His first teammate in the Toro Rosso team: Max Verstappen. A time that wasn’t always easy.

On the one hand, sporty: Verstappen had 49 points at the end of 2015, Sainz only 18. In the first four races of the 2016 season it was 13:4 for Verstappen before he was promoted to Red Bull Racing. The Sainzs were unhappy behind the scenes at the time and felt like they were second to Verstappens, who was given the red carpet by Helmut Marko.

Carlos Sainz won the Australian Grand Prix

Photo: Getty Images

Red Bull: Are past conflicts already resolved?

This led to conflicts that eventually led to separation. Because Sainz Sr. he didn’t want to see how Verstappen could do whatever he wanted when his son was trying so hard to be a fair team player. And Marko felt Sainz Sr. as one of those troublesome fathers who should not interfere with their sons’ work.

The canals that are now filled. Sainz Jr. chats at Suzuka. and Marko and chief engineer Paul Monaghan. Now Marko said: “Sainz is definitely a name you have to look out for. He came into Formula 1 through Red Bull and had a really good year at Toro Rosso at the time.”

The possibility of a cockpit for Red Bull is even greater if Verstappen switches to Mercedes. If Verstappen stays, which is currently the contract group, then Sergio Pérez will have to be kicked out to make room for the Spaniard.

Pérez without a future at Red Bull?

“Sky” expert Ralf Schumacher recently said: “I am absolutely sure that Pérez will not get a chance again. (…) If everything goes well, he can be close to Verstappen for a short time. But then you see in racing: This is the world two, and one car and the team can’t afford that for a long time.

“Sainz is on the market, Alonso is on the market. There could also be new ones, youngsters coming. There is a lot going on now. There is still this story behind: What is Max Verstappen doing? Is there chaos in the Team. Will everything stay the same?” Schumacher said.

“Then there are rumors that something might happen inside the Red Bull company, that they are leaving Austria and going to Dubai with the whole caravan to save taxes and so on. There is still a lot of oil there, and so on. Of course, that could also have an influence on the pairing drivers.”

Sainz with a chance against Verstappen

“But for now I would say: Max Verstappen is still planned for next year, even if Mercedes would like it to be different,” Schumacher said, stressing that he will now bring Sainz as a teammate to Verstappen because: “Sainz is ” I’m used to being around strong people and Verstappen’s time will end at some point.

“He knows that, and a racing driver always believes that he is the best. Otherwise he wouldn’t do it. So Sainz also believes that he can beat Verstappen. And one thing should not be overlooked: he has the highest Race. The only question is how he gets along and that idea, if he also likes these cars that are more likely to be driven in a lower way than the lower ones, what Verstappen does, and if it suits him too.”

“Right now he’s in the race. And I think he’s more liberated now. He knows he can’t/doesn’t need to fight anymore for the cockpit at Ferrari, but he just wants to do his best now. Be the best for next year. I think he often lets the driver go,” Schumacher said.

Predicting where Sainz will end up is currently impossible in a “silly season” with so many parameters. One thing is clear: he can sign with Audi at any time if he wants. But it’s clear he wants to wait and see if there might be better opportunities elsewhere – and that’s why he’s letting Audi hang around.


Leclerc trumps Barrichello: Highlights at the start