Sainz may be getting ’nervous’ about 2025 seat

"I think there are several options for our team"


8 May 2024 - 08:43
Sainz may be getting 'nervous'

Audi-owned Sauber is still waiting for Carlos Sainz to make his decision regarding 2025 and beyond.

It was rumoured recently that the job-seeking Spaniard let an Audi deadline lapse, in order to hold out hope of a plum Red Bull or Mercedes seat instead.

"Isn’t he nervous that he doesn’t have a seat yet?" wonders former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos on Ziggo Sport.

"I read that he thanked Audi but was hoping for something better. But when (Sergio) Perez is second in the championship, they’re not sending him home, are they?

"That seems stressful to me. If he has a few bad weekends, these sorts of conversations (with teams) won’t go quite as smoothly."

Doornbos is, however, confident that Audi-Sauber won’t retain Valtteri Bottas.

"The man is looking for a new contract and he had a hopeless weekend (in Miami)," he said. "He was nowhere to be found, even behind Zhou Guanyu. It was really bad."

As for Sainz’s chances at Mercedes, Toto Wolff is openly waiting to see if Max Verstappen might suddenly emerge on the market.

But Wolff denied that he is grooming 17-year-old Kimi Antonelli for the 2025 seat - perhaps beginning with an immediate leap into F1 with Williams.

"Why would you apply for a dispensation for a super license if you don’t want to let him race?" wonders Dutch broadcaster Olav Mol. "Why let him do a qualifying and race simulation at Imola?" he added, referring to Antonelli’s recent outing in the 2022 Mercedes.

"When the team bosses start denying, you know it’s true," Mol laughed.

Wolff, though, insists that 29-year-old Sainz is still in the running for the 2025 Mercedes seat.

"There are always a lot of meetings going on in the paddock," he said in Miami. "So far I can’t say anything definite about our second driver for next season.

"But I want to be fair to these guys and not make it seem like we’re playing chess with people, because we’re not."

As for Audi-owned Sauber, team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi says the Swiss-based outfit is still waiting for Sainz.

"Everybody knows that there is a top driver available on the market - it’s Carlos Sainz," he said. "And I think that everybody would love to have him on board.

"He is one of the best drivers. But we also know that the driver market is not depending only on ourselves. I think there are several options for our team.

"Now that we have announced Nico (Hulkenberg), there is no rush to make this choice. We are speaking with him (Sainz) and other drivers. It is not just the decision of a single driver," added Bravi.

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