Sainz ’definitely’ better than Leclerc at present - Marko

"Last year it was definitely Leclerc"


6 April 2024 - 17:57
Sainz 'definitely' better than

Red Bull is leaving the door open to a return to the Red Bull family for Carlos Sainz.

Sainz, who was brought into Formula 1 by Dr Helmut Marko at the same time as Max Verstappen, left the Red Bull camp and began his road to Ferrari via Renault and McLaren.

But shortly before the 2024 season began, Ferrari made the decision to re-sign Charles Leclerc but not Sainz - replacing the latter for 2025 with Lewis Hamilton.

Sainz, 29, is therefore out of work beyond this season.

In Jeddah, his father and manager were spotted exiting a meeting with Mercedes’ Toto Wolff, and at Suzuka Sainz himself was seen chatting with Red Bull driver mastermind Marko.

80-year-old Marko has now told Osterreich newspaper at Suzuka: "Sainz is a strong character. He is ambitious and highly motivated, firstly because of his expulsion from Ferrari, secondly because of the appendix effect.

"Everything is coming together at the moment, it’s at an incredible high," the Austrian added.

When asked which of the current Ferrari drivers is better, Marko answered: "Last year it was definitely Leclerc. Now I would say it’s definitely Sainz."

Verstappen’s current teammate is Sergio Perez, whose contract - as well as his various Mexican sponsors’ contracts with Red Bull Racing - runs out in 2024.

When asked if Perez is cruising towards a new deal, Marko answered: "It’s far too early to speculate about that.

"All of this was triggered by Hamilton’s early decision to go to Ferrari. But both Mercedes and Red Bull can wait to make a decision at the moment."

For his part, Sainz told the Spanish newspaper AS at Suzuka that he thinks the driver market for 2025 will take "a little more time" to heat up.

"That’s how it is," he said. "But now the season is entering a point where I would like to move forward and start solving things. I don’t want to spend the entire year between one thing and the next."

It is believed Audi-owned Sauber has given Sainz mere days to take up a contract offer for 2025 and beyond.

"The ideal," said Sainz, "would be to have a winning car next year. But we must also remember that in 2026 everything changes again. So I’m not only looking at 2025."

Red Bull



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