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Carlos Sainz

McLaren highlight why F1 rivals should sign Sainz

It appears to be a tug-of-war between two teams, in particular, for Sainz's signature.

Sainz Imola
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has outlined the reasons why Carlos Sainz should be signed by one of its F1 rivals.

Stella previously worked closely with Sainz during the Spanish driver's two years with McLaren in 2019 and 2020 prior to him joining Ferrari.

After what will be three seasons with the Scuderia, however, at the end of this year, Sainz will move on to make way for seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton.

Hopes of landing a drive with another top team have fallen by the wayside recently as Red Bull opted to re-sign Sergio Perez on a one-plus-one deal, guaranteeing the Mexican his seat for at least 2025.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, meanwhile, has now firmly intimated his priority is junior Kimi Andrea Antonelli. The suggestion is the 17-year-old Italian will be in the car for 2026 at least, with the team mulling over its options for next year.

That has left Sainz involved in a tug-of-war between Audi and Williams, with a return to Enstone and joining Alpine the dark-horse outsider.

Williams team principal James Vowles made no secret of his desire to recruit Sainz over the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, whilst it is known Audi wants Sainz alongside Nico Hulkenberg when it embarks on its F1 project in 2026. It would, though, mean a year at the back of the grid with Stake next season before the completed takeover by the German manufacturing giant.

Rational Sainz 'an interesting driver'

Stella, meanwhile, has outlined exactly the type of driver Sainz is, apart from being a three-time grand prix winner.

Detailing the main characteristics of the 29-year-old, Stella said: "Carlos is an interesting driver, but in particular, I would highlight that he is very rational.

"He needs to create a plan in his head around what is the fastest way in a lap, what is the fastest way of racing. He adds a lot of rationality to his instinct.

"And the importance is that when you have this rational elaboration, it's also easy to communicate, and then it becomes a big asset for the team because what he's processing, what he's seeing as an opportunity or what he's seeing as a problem, it becomes very clear for the team.

"It’s very well communicated and we can do something about it. So I think for us has been definitely one of the leading variables in the development of the team because of these characteristics."

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