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Carlos Sainz

Steiner reveals advantage for ‘big player’ in F1 seat hunt

Carlos Sainz is a key player in the Formula 1 driver market - but where could the three-time race winner end up in 2025?

Carlos Sainz’s reputation can allow him to wait for some time before opting to make a decision over his Formula 1 future.

That is the view of ex-Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner, who named three potential destinations for the Spaniard.

Sainz is seeking a new F1 home after being ousted at Ferrari in favour of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Sainz has been linked with a move to Stake for next season ahead of its transition to Audi in 2026, with Nico Hulkenberg already signed up to the programme.

However, Steiner suggested that Red Bull and Mercedes could also be options for the 29-year-old.

“One of the big players in the driver market right now is Carlos Sainz, who doesn’t have a seat for next year after losing out to Lewis,” Steiner wrote in his column for F1.com.

“Once Red Bull and Mercedes decide what they want to do with their open seats, Carlos could be in the frame.

“Carlos will know he has an option at Sauber, which will become Audi in 2026. I think they are keen to have him onboard. But I don’t think Carlos is in a hurry to sign anything until he knows the doors to the big teams are closed.”

'Carlos can wait'

Sainz has enjoyed a strong start to the current season, scoring three podiums in four races - including a victory at the Australian Grand Prix.

With no teams rushing to make a decision, Steiner highlighted that Sainz can also afford to be patient.

“He’s won a race this year and is in great form, so you can understand why he ideally wants his next project to give him the chance to keep doing that,” Steiner added.

“The seat everyone will really want is Red Bull – but the team are in no rush to make a decision as Checo is doing a great job. Mercedes aren’t in a hurry either.

“So, Carlos can wait. He will not be without a good seat in the end. It’s just a question of how good that seat is.”

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