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Carlos Sainz lists demands for next F1 team, namedrops three options

Carlos Sainz has been replaced at Ferrari by Lewis Hamilton for 2025, and could switch to Mercedes, Red Bull or Audi

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Carlos Sainz revealed Mercedes, Red Bull and Audi all meet the criteria for his next Formula 1 team as he prepares to leave Ferrari at the end of 2024 to be replaced by Lewis Hamilton.

The Spaniard is the only non-Red Bull driver to win a grand prix since 2022 but Ferrari had no hesitation in pulling the trigger to cut him and bring in Hamilton, while also offering Charles Leclerc a long-term contract.

However, with Fernando Alonso off the driver market, Sainz‘s exploits particularly in the last three seasons should make him the belle of the ball in silly season, and he was asked what he’s searching for in his destination, and how Mercedes, Red Bull and Audi stack up against those demands.

“I think like any other employee in any other company, just the full support and full backing of the company allowing me to extract the best of myself, a good medium-term project that allows me to focus not only on the today and now but also on the medium-term future,” Sainz told the media at the 2024 Miami Grand Prix. “And just good people around me.”

“And I think any of those teams you’ve mentioned are good options for that and that’s why you need to keep all the options open at the moment.”

Sainz approves of Hulkenberg-Audi partnership

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz pose as Ferrari unveil special 2024 Miami GP livery | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz pose as Ferrari unveil special 2024 Miami GP livery | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

With Alonso announcing his Aston Martin extension ahead of the 2024 Chinese GP, another key domino in the driver market fell ahead of F1‘s arrival in Miami with Nico Hulkenberg joining Sauber, which becomes Audi in 2026.

The partnership between German team and driver had been predicted with Hulkenberg exceeding expectations since his return to F1 full-time in 2023, but still means there’s just one seat remaining at Audi for 2025.

It’s been a seat that Sainz has been widely linked with, and would see him reconnect with former McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl after their previously successful partnership in Working.

However, Sainz insisted he’s had no guarantees on whether that position will remain open for as long as it takes him to make his final decision.

“The only assurance I have is for myself that I want to take the right decision,” Sainz added. “And that’s why it’s also taking a bit longer and that’s why I want to see all the options available before taking any fundamental decision.

“I think Nico joining Audi makes complete sense for them and for Nico and I think he’s a great driver that I’ve managed to see his talents and I think he’s a great signing for them and him because he’s been doing great at Haas lately too.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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