MX23RW : Wednesday, June 12 12:47:30| >> :120:16482:16482:

Audi set to welcome Sainz amid F1 driver reshuffles

Audi set to welcome Sainz amid F1 driver reshuffles
© Reuters
Audi, having acquired Sauber, looks to be the optimal choice for next year and beyond for the Ferrari-departing Carlos Sainz.

Audi, having acquired Sauber, looks to be the optimal choice for next year and beyond for the Ferrari-departing Carlos Sainz.

Although he has had an attractive proposal for a while, he has been exploring possibilities for shorter-term engagements with either Mercedes or Red Bull.

At Imola, through his father Carlos Sainz Sr., it was also rumoured that the 29-year-old driver valued offers from Williams and Alpine, but decided to decline them.

An F1 photographer caught Sainz in conversation with Red Bull's team leader Christian Horner at Imola last weekend. With Sergio Perez's future with Red Bull still uncertain for 2025, and Toto Wolff of Mercedes openly waiting to see if Max Verstappen might exit the energy drink-backed team due to internal conflicts, the paddock was abuzz.

However, Erik van Haren, among the top insiders within the Dutch F1 media, believes there is "no reason" for Verstappen, aged 26, to leave Red Bull before 2026.

"Wolff knows that too," he told De Telegraaf, "but he will kick himself if Verstappen turns out to be available in a few months."

It's understood that Wolff has effectively shut the door on Sainz joining Mercedes, positioning George Russell's next teammate to be either the up-and-coming Kimi Antonelli or - as an outside shot - Verstappen.

Addressing Verstappen's potential move, former F1 driver Christijan Albers expressed that the triple world champion is unlikely to switch to Mercedes for the 2025 season.

"Verstappen thinks very simply," he commented. "He just wants the best car."

"Next year will just be upgrades and updates to the current car. Then in 2026 we move on to a completely new concept."

Meanwhile, the seat next to Verstappen at Red Bull may be up for grabs, particularly since Perez's disappointing performance at Imola last week.

"When the car behaves unpredictably," van Haren noted, "the difference between Verstappen and Perez becomes painfully clear."

Albers pointed out that as Ferrari and McLaren edge closer to Red Bull, Perez's position becomes increasingly precarious.

"When you're no longer in such a luxurious position, that's when you have a real problem," he remarked.

"He (Perez) just lacks the speed and then you suddenly see that he is no longer even near the front - one car is P1 and the other is P11. That's just not good enough."

Echoing this sentiment, Jan Lammers, Dutch GP boss, told NOS, "Perez really needs to step up, otherwise Red Bull will have to work hard to win the constructors' championship."

Nevertheless, according to Corriere dello Sport's Fulvio Solms, the likelihood of Perez being re-signed by Red Bull for 2025 stands at "80 percent".

"And the remaining 20 percent is no longer of interest to Carlos, annoyed by this 'on-call' role," Solms mentioned. "So he has just made the decision - he has chosen Audi."

"Meetings are already underway to plan a promotional campaign involving Sainz," Solms added.

ID:544317:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect4064:

Click here for more stories about Carlos Sainz

Click here for more stories about Red Bull

Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr celebrates victory at the Australian Grand Prix on March 24, 2024.
Read Next:
F1 driver buzz: Sainz to Audi, Perez wants more from Red Bull?
>
rhs 2.0
Euro 2024 fixtures header
Friday, June 14
 
8pm
Saturday, June 15
 
2pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
Sunday, June 16
 
2pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
Monday, June 17
 
2pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
Tuesday, June 18
 
5pm
Wednesday, June 19
 
2pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
Thursday, June 20
 
2pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
Group Stage
Spain
vs.
Italy
Friday, June 21
 
2pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
Saturday, June 22
 
5pm
 
8pm
Sunday, June 23
 
8pm
 
8pm
Monday, June 24
 
8pm
 
8pm
Tuesday, June 25
 
5pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
 
8pm
Wednesday, June 26
 
5pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
 
8pm
Saturday, June 29
Sunday, June 30
Monday, July 1
Tuesday, July 2
Friday, July 5
Saturday, July 6


Sports Mole provides in-depth previews and predictions for every match from the biggest leagues and competitions in world football.
Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy after collecting the Golden Ball award on December 18, 2022Sign up for our FREE daily preview newsletter direct to your inbox!