Audi Alternatives: Top Choices

Audi is keen on signing Carlos Sainz for their Formula 1 team due to his speed, experience, and leadership qualities, but as Sainz hesitates, possibly waiting for opportunities with Mercedes and Red Bull, Audi must consider alternatives, though none match Sainz’s appeal.


‣ Audi is actively preparing for their Formula 1 entry in 2026, seeking experienced drivers to lead the team, with Carlos Sainz being their top candidate due to his speed, experience, and leadership qualities.

‣ Despite the interest in Sainz, Audi faces the challenge of whether to wait for him as he considers his options, potentially risking losing other suitable candidates for their driver lineup.

‣ Alternatives to Sainz include Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly from Alpine, and Sergio Perez, though concerns exist about their emotional resilience and compatibility with the team’s dynamics.

‣ Audi’s strategy leans towards patience in securing Sainz, valuing his exceptional form and fit with the team over other candidates, despite the risks involved in waiting and the potential of not securing him.

Audi and Carlos Sainz. Now, there’s a duo that’s been causing quite the stir. But, hold your horses, folks. Sainz isn’t ready to put pen to paper just yet. So, what’s Audi to do? Sit tight or scout for other talents? GPblog’s got the scoop on their options.

So, what’s Audi’s dream driver look like? Behind the scenes, they’re gearing up for a grand entrance into Formula 1. Though we won’t see the Audi emblem zooming around F1 tracks until 2026, Andreas Seidl and his crew are already knee-deep in the switch from Sauber to Audi. And they’ve got their eyes on the prize for 2025. They’re after drivers who’ll still be behind the wheel in 2026. With Guanyu Zhou and Valtteri Bottas possibly on their way out, Audi’s got a blank canvas. Nico Hulkenberg‘s already snagged the first spot. But Audi’s not stopping there. They want another seasoned pro. Sainz was their golden boy, aiming for a duo in their 30s who are quick, savvy, and leadership material.

Experience is key for Audi. They’re not in the market for rookies. Seidl’s team needs drivers who can take the wheel, literally and figuratively. With the resources Audi’s packing, they’re looking for drivers to lead the charge.

Enter Carlos Sainz. Audi’s interest in him makes all the sense in the world. The guy’s fast, a proven winner, and has that drive to keep pushing the envelope. He’s shown his mettle at Ferrari and before that, McLaren. And guess what? He’s worked with Seidl and Key before. Perfect, right? But here’s the rub: Sainz might be playing the field, eyeing seats at Mercedes and Red Bull Racing. The longer Audi waits, the slimmer their options get.

Who else is on Audi’s radar? Alpine’s drivers are looking pretty good. Both have wins under their belts and contracts up for grabs. Esteban Ocon’s the frontrunner, though 2023 flipped the script a bit. But, they’re not without their flaws. Emotional, a tad unpredictable. And Ocon? Not exactly Mr. Popular with his teammates. Then there’s Sergio Perez. Cooler head, race winner, and he’s got history with Hulkenberg at Force India. But, would Audi really go for a lineup that’s, well, on the seasoned side?

And don’t forget about Valtteri Bottas. He’s already with Sauber, but Audi’s eyes seem set on Hulkenberg and Sainz. Still, Bottas has been outperforming his teammate and has a trophy case to prove his worth.

Who’s Audi’s best bet? Sauber might be at the back of the pack now, but with Audi’s takeover in 2026, things are looking up. Sainz is the dream pick. Top form, lightning-fast, and he’s got the experience. Audi should probably play the long game with him. The other options? They just don’t stack up. Ocon and Gasly might tick some boxes, but they’re no Sainz.

And with Alpine not exactly setting the world on fire, Ocon and Gasly might be eyeing the exit. Bottas, too, could be in the mix if Sainz decides to look elsewhere.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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