Carlos Sainz refutes reports about Audi future as time to claim seat runs out

The out-of-contract Ferrari driver is hunting for a seat on the 2025 grid and has been linked to Audi and Red Bull

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Carlos Sainz might be the hottest property available on the Formula 1 market at the moment as the Ferrari driver continues to shine with exceptional form in 2024, and now he’s given a critical update about his Audi future as he declares that he didn’t reject a contract offer from them.

The Spaniard, who won the 2024 Australian Grand Prix and 2023 Singapore GP, is said to have turned down a chance to join the German car manufacturer, who will take over Sauber from 2026 and are said to want to build their team around him.

But news broke in the Spanish media that the three-time race winner had turned them down, which would have almost put him all-in on Red Bull, backing himself in a straight fight against Sergio Perez but this is not true, from the words of the man himself.

“No. No, that’s not correct,” Sainz said to select members of the ahead of the 2024 Miami GP including Total-Motorsport.com, when asked by journalists about if he rejected Audi. “There’s no truth about it. Nothing to add.”

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

According to Helmut Marko, that includes an exceptional financial offer that Red Bull can’t meet as the world champions are one of two other teams courting him, with the final one being Mercedes as they bid to replace Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes, however, appear to have him as their third pick to partner George Russell next season as Toto Wolff seems keen to see how Max Verstappen‘s Red Bull situation unfolds, with their highly-rated prospect, Andrea Kimi Antonelli, being the second choice.

Sainz only has positive words for Audi

Audi have already moved on Nico Hulkenberg to replace one of Valtteri Bottas or Zhou Guanyu for 2025, meaning that the chances to snap up one of the most exciting seats in F1 are starting to close and if the driver market shifts again, Sainz could even miss his shot.

Showcar with Audi F1 launch livery

Bottas, if he is the one Sauber/Audi have chosen to keep for 2025, is no easy driver to displace after winning 10 races and recording 67 podiums in five seasons with Mercedes. Even as recently as 2022, he scored 49 points to prove his calibre.

But if Sainz and Audi doesn’t work out in the end, the Spanish driver will not be bitter towards them nor resentful if they decide to pick a different man to begin their F1 project. In fact, the 29-year-old only has good things to say about them.

“My dad you will only hear say good things about how the project,” Sainz added, praising the budding project. “And how confident he is that Audi will make it to the top in F1.

“If you follow the Volkswagen projects, every time they’ve been involved in motorsports, it doesn’t matter if it’s with Porsche with Audi or with any of the Volkswagen Group they’ve managed to win.

“I think that’s a very important asset and something very important to consider, but in my decision and obviously in everything, there’s a lot more factors involved.

“I really hope Audi in the future can fight for wins because it would just mean one more car fighting for wins, and a massive brand like they are. I wish them the best without even having decided if that’s a possibility for me or not.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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