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Carlos Sainz

Sainz denies rumours about Audi rejection

Carlos Sainz has moved to quell speculation he has turned down the offer to join Audi, saying he is taking his time in order to make the right decision.

Sainz Miami
To news overview © XPBimages

Carlos Sainz has denied suggestions he has rejected a big-money offer from Audi - as he wants to make the "right decision" for his future.

Ahead of media day at the Miami Grand Prix, speculation the Spanish driver had ultimately re-buffed the German team's advances started to gain traction, but the three-time race winner has since quashed any such chatter.

Audi has already signed Nico Hulkenberg ahead of its arrival in 2026, as with the team set to continue as Stake for 2025, but Sainz, who is also leaving Ferrari for the arriving Lewis Hamilton, was firm, and confirmed that he has no set cut-off date in mind for making his decision

"No, that's not correct," he responded to media including RacingNews365 when asked about the suggestion he had turned down Audi's contract, adding "there is no truth about it.

"As I've said before, there are certain things that they don't depend fully on myself and there's going to be some waiting to be done," he said.

"But, in the meantime, is not like I'm, or we are, completely stopped.

"We are still in conversations with people and advancing what we can advance, but all those things always including the waiting that, as I said before, we're going to need to do, for people to make up their minds in many areas."

Father's influence

Since it was confirmed his future would not be with Ferrari, the Spaniard has been heavily linked to the Audi project, which will take over the Sauber entry from Stake F1 for the 2026 season.

Sainz's father, the World Rally champion Carlos Sainz Sr is an Audi driver in the Dakar Rally, claiming victory earlier this year, and the soon-to-be former Ferrari driver also spoke of his fathers influence.

"For sure, my Dad, you will always say good things about Audi, the project, and how confident he is that Audi will make it to the top in Formula 1," he said.

"If you follow the Volkswagen projects, every time they've been involved in motorsports - doesn't matter if it's with Porsche, with Audi or any of the Volkswagen Group - they've managed to win, and I think that's a very important asset and something very important to consider.

"But in my decision, and obviously in everything, there are a lot more factors involved.

"I really hope Audi in the future can fight for wins because it would just mean one more car fighting for wins, and a massive brand like they are, and I wish them the best without even having decided if that's a possibility for me or not."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

No assurances

Between the Chinese Grand Prix and F1 reaching Miami, it was confirmed that Hulkenberg would be occupying one of the Audi seats, with the 36-year-old joining Stake next year, meaning only one seat is left available at the project.

However, that is not factoring into Sainz's thinking, with the Ferrari driver adding what a great signing Hulkenberg is for Audi.

"No, the only assurance that I have is from myself that I want to make the right decision," he remarked when asked if he had received any assurances from Audi that he could take his time with making the call.

"That's why it's also taken a bit longer, and that's why I want to see all the options available before taking any fundamental decision.

"I think Nico joining Audi makes complete sense for them and for Nico, and I think he's a great driver.

"I've managed to see his talents - he's a great signing for them. I congratulate them and him because he's been doing great at Haas lately too."

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