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Carlos Sainz

Sainz lists 2025 priorities for next F1 driver market move

Carlos Sainz has explained his main priority in determining his next home in F1, with the out-going Ferrari driver heavily linked to Audi, as well as Mercedes and a return to the Red Bull family.

Sainz Australia
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Carlos Sainz is the most sought-after free agent left in the F1 driver market 'silly season'. The Ferrari driver has been closely linked with the Audi project for some time, as well as Mercedes and Red Bull.

The 29-year-old had hope to remain at the Scuderia, but the Italian team penning Lewis Hamilton to a multi-year deal ahead of the current F1 season has forced the Spaniard's hand.

His father, Carlos Sainz Sr., has ties to Audi from his Dakar Rally experience and that relationship could in part pave the way for his son to join Stake F1 in 2025, where he would partner Nico Hulkenberg, despite the team not being in a position to provide him with race-winning machinery.

"I think it all depends in what they offer you and what kind of project they are offering," the three-time grand prix winner told media including RacingNews365 when asked at the Chinese Grand Prix how he is weighing up his options for next season.

"As a driver, I’m always gonna try and look for the fastest option available. Especially given the form I’m in.

"I think that if given the right car on the right year, I can win races and be on the podium – and I can win this year. That’s my number one priority as a driver, to win. This is always installed in my hard work and something that I always will look for.

'All the good options are still there'

Sainz is the only driver other than Max Verstappen to win a grand prix this season. Further still, the pair are the only grand prix victors in F1 for almost a year - Sergio Perez's last win coming at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on 30 April 2023.

If the Spanish driver is to continue winning races, Red Bull represents his best option. Mercedes may be able to provide him with such opportunities - if he were to sign a multi-year deal through to at least the end of 2026 - but the Brackley-based team must also consider the future of Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

However, Sainz is not completely set on remaining at one of the current leading teams in F1, saying there are other factors to consider.

"There are, for sure, some other very interesting medium-term and long-term options out there that I will consider and that I am considering," he remarked. "Every option has its pluses or minuses, let’s put it like that.

"I’ll consider all of them, but as I said before, the best thing is that all the good options are still there, and we can still have a look at it."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying