Sainz Rejects Audi, Aims for Verstappen’s Seat

Carlos Sainz is taking a significant risk by rejecting Sauber/Audi’s offer in hopes of securing a competitive seat with either Red Bull Racing or Mercedes for 2025, despite not being the top candidate for these teams and risking ending up without a seat.


‣ Carlos Sainz has reportedly turned down an offer from Sauber/Audi, hoping for a seat with either Red Bull Racing or Mercedes, despite the risk of ending up without a team.

‣ Despite his family’s strong ties with Audi, Sainz is reluctant to join Sauber, which is currently the lowest-ranked team, especially after winning a Grand Prix with Ferrari and being the only non-Red Bull driver to win in 2023.

‣ Audi has not yet announced Hulkenberg’s teammate and might consider other drivers like Esteban Ocon or Sergio Perez if Sainz has indeed rejected their offer, putting Sainz at risk of losing out on a competitive seat.

‣ Sainz’s options are limited, as he is not the top candidate for Mercedes or Red Bull Racing, and if he misses out on these opportunities, his only options might be teams like Williams, Alpine, and Haas.

Carlos Sainz seems to be rolling the dice this Silly Season. Word on the street is, he’s shrugged off Sauber/Audi’s offer. He’s got his eyes set on a different prize. But, oh boy, is he skating on thin ice. He might just end up empty-handed.

Audi’s grand entrance into Formula 1 stirred the pot. Carlos, with his family ties to Audi – thanks to his dad’s Dakar Rally win – was the talk of the town. But jumping ship to Sauber in 2025? That’s a tough pill to swallow.

Let’s not forget, Carlos has to wave goodbye to Ferrari come the end of 2024. So, yeah, he’s on the hunt for a new squad. But Sauber? Really? After clinching a Grand Prix win with Ferrari in 2024 and being the only one to beat the Red Bulls in 2023, moving to the bottom-ranked team feels like a giant leap… backwards.

### How much time does Sainz have left?

While Nico Hulkenberg happily inked a deal with Audi, Carlos is playing hard to get. Spanish media dropped a bomb on Thursday – Carlos hasn’t said “yes” to Audi. Rumor has it, he’s holding out for a spot at Red Bull Racing or Mercedes, eyeing a competitive edge in 2025.

But here’s the kicker. Audi’s not in a rush to announce Hulkenberg’s sidekick. If Carlos really did give them the cold shoulder, they might start eyeing other talents. Esteban Ocon or Sergio Perez, perhaps?

So, Carlos is juggling with fire. Neither Mercedes nor Red Bull Racing sees him as their top pick. Toto Wolff’s got hearts in his eyes for Max Verstappen, aiming to pair him with George Russell. And if that falls through, Andrea Kimi Antonelli might just swoop in ahead of Carlos.

### Why is Sainz taking a risk?

Red Bull Racing might still be in the cards for Carlos, but it’s a long shot. With Sergio Perez’s contract winding down, does Carlos really want to be Verstappen’s wingman again? Doubtful. He’s eyeing the top spot, dreaming of that 2025 world title. But is he the frontrunner? Hmm.

Despite Alexander Albon‘s commitment to Williams, his Thai heritage gives him a leg up with Red Bull’s bigwig, Chalerm Yoovidhya. If Christian Horner needs to fill a Verstappen-shaped hole, Albon might just be his go-to.

So, here’s Carlos, caught in the headlights. He’s turned down Audi, hoping for a miracle with Red Bull Racing or Mercedes. But if those doors close and Audi’s moved on, he’s left with slim pickings – Williams, Alpine, or Haas. Talk about a high-stakes game.

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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