Sainz: During a triple header, it is impossible to make a decision

Nervous drivers waiting for Sainz’s delayed decision


28 June 2024 - 09:18
Sainz: During a triple header, it is (…)

Carlos Sainz has announced that he is in fact not ready to make a decision about his post-Ferrari career in Formula 1.

Authoritative reports from Barcelona last weekend suggested the Spaniard was poised to imminently decide between Williams, Audi-owned Sauber, and the late contender for his signature - Alpine.

Mercedes is no longer an option.

"Yes, we had discussions with Carlos," team boss Toto Wolff admitted to Sport1, "but we came to the decision that I didn’t want to confirm it before the autumn.

"But the whole thing could be delayed until September, October, even November. We decided that it was better for them (Sainz) to do something different."

Kevin Magnussen said in Barcelona that Sainz is the "cork in the bottle" of the driver market, and current Sauber driver Guanyu Zhou declared in Austria that he agrees.

"Then I think that will turn the driver market around a lot," said the Chinese. "But before that, I think the guys who still haven’t signed can’t really give any clear answer or direction where they want to be."

Sainz, 29, had hinted that he was ready to finally put pen to paper perhaps even ahead of this weekend’s Austrian GP. But now, he says he won’t even be ready by Silverstone.

"During a triple header, it is impossible to make a decision that is so important for my career in the few days in between races," he told reporters.

Williams, a recent frontrunner to secure Sainz’s services, announced on Thursday that no fewer than 26 new recruits "from other F1 teams" are set to start work at Grove, including recently-departed Alpine technical boss Matt Harman.

Sainz hinted that other contenders for his signature - perhaps Audi-Sauber - have been less impressive with their pitches.

"The situation I’ve found myself in this year has taught me a lot about Formula 1 in general," he said. "Talking to teams shown me how little you can sometimes trust what you hear at the start of negotiations."

With Sainz dithering, Audi had even looked at Red Bull-owned properties like Yuki Tsunoda and even Liam Lawson - but the energy drink concern subsequently re-signed Tsunoda and, it is believed, have promised Lawson the 2025 RB seat.

"We would have loaned out our best Formula 2 driver, (Isack) Hadjar," Dr Helmut Marko told Blick newspaper.

Blick correspondent Roger Benoit suggested that Felipe Drugovich could even be an outside shot for a Sauber-Audi seat.



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