Williams, Sauber/Audi options for Sainz ’a shame’ - Berger

"I feel a bit sorry for him"


13 June 2024 - 08:01
Williams, Sauber/Audi options for (…)

F1 legend Gerhard Berger says it’s a "shame" that Carlos Sainz has been locked out of every "good" team for 2025.

Over the Montreal weekend, it became clear that the 29-year-old Spanish driver has two options for his next move in Formula 1, having been ousted by Ferrari for 2025 in favour of Lewis Hamilton.

Those two options are Williams and Sauber-owned Audi.

It was even rumoured in Canada - and denied - that Sainz has already signed a Williams deal for 2025 and 2026, with team boss James Vowles making a strong public pitch to attract the 3-time grand prix winner.

"Obviously I appreciate James’ interest and his kind words towards me," Sainz said. "The same can be said for how I feel about him and his team.

"But the reality is that I haven’t decided where I’m going next year because, as I already said, I’m too focused on the current race weekends at the moment.

"I am fighting for podiums or wins from weekend to weekend, so it’s very difficult to think about the future when you have important weekends waiting for you all the time," he added.

"I will need some time to sit down with my management and talk things over with them so that I can decide where to go. But at the moment, nothing has been decided," Sainz insisted.

When asked about Sainz’s limited options for 2025, former Ferrari driver Berger said he feels bad for the Spaniard.

"It’s a real shame," he told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. "I feel a bit sorry for him because he’s pretty much on the same level as (Charles) Leclerc.

"But Ferrari has decided on Hamilton, who is supposed to bring fresh dynamism. It’s true that Lewis will certainly bring along one or two important engineers that Ferrari needs, which could be Adrian Newey, among others."

As for Sainz weighing up between Williams and Sauber, Berger added: "It’s extremely hard for him when there isn’t really a good door open at the moment."

He agrees that Sauber’s prospects for the future are looking good due to Audi, but he thinks it could be years before Sainz ever benefits from it.

"A German premium manufacturer in Formula 1 is an absolute asset," said Berger. "But you shouldn’t underestimate the entry into the highest motorsport class. It takes patience and few mistakes.

"I remember Red Bull," he added. "I was close to them at the time and, despite having Adrian Newey and making a few mistakes, it took them six years to become a winning team."

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