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Carlos Sainz

Sainz highlights 'lottery' risk in upcoming F1 move

Carlos Sainz has explained why he is considering 2025 and 2026 equally as he edges towards deciding his next home in F1.

Sainz Canada
To news overview © XPBimages

Carlos Sainz has provided further insight into how he is weighing up his decision over which team to join for the 2025 F1 season.

The Spanish driver is moving on from Ferrari at the end of the current season, with Lewis Hamilton replacing him at the Scuderia. Although that has been known since February, the three-time race winner has been resolved in taking his time deciding his next move.

Whilst he was initially said to be in the hunt for a seat at another top team, such as Red Bull or Mercedes, he has seen his options whittled down to what is believed to be a straight choice between Williams and Stake F1 - who will transition to Audi at the end of 2025.

The former is currently the more competitive pick, and James Vowles is doing his best at selling the upside to a sleeping giant he is set on awakening. However, the prospect of the big project at the latter is potentially an enticing one for Sainz. 

Either way, he insists he is not writing off next season, particularly given the unknowns facing F1 the season after.

"For me, 2025 is equally important to 2026," the 29-year-old told media including RacingNews365.

"Why? Because I think 2026 is a lottery, so I could go somewhere, and any of the options that I have on top of the table and be successful or not. And even one of the top teams could nail it or not."

Sainz not ruling out 2025 in decision

Despite a difficult start to the season, things are improving at the Grove-based team, and James Vowles has already got Alexander Albon to buy-in to the long-term viability of his Williams revival.

Buoyed by the said-to-be-promising Mercedes 2026 power unit, the nine-times constructors' champions should not be written off, despite the scale of the Audi operation.

The German marque will take full control of the Sauber entry for the start of the next regulations cycle, but there is a feeling it could take some time for the team to get fully off the ground. Whilst it has aspirations to reach a championship-winning level, it is difficult to predict - something Sainz is keenly aware of.

"I think '26, very honestly speaking, it's impossible to find out," the outgoing Ferrari driver said. "So, given that after everything I've seen, '26, it's almost impossible to predict who's going to be on top.

"'25 is almost a bit more certain who's going to be where, and you can more or less know and predict where they're going to be. For sure, it's going to be important in my decision - it's not like I'm going to rule out '25. For me, '25 is equally important to '26 or '27."

Who do you think Sainz should join next season? Let us know by commenting of voting below in the latest RacingNews365 poll.

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