Carlos Sainz to Williams? James Vowles drops driver lineup hint

The Spaniard is looking for a drive in 2025 and Williams are rumoured to be favourites for his signature


Williams team principal James Vowles chose to stay tight-lipped on speculation linking the Formula 1 team with signing Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz for the 2025 season.

The Spaniard will be looking for a new team after the Scuderia opted to sign Lewis Hamilton to partner Charles Leclerc next year, bringing an end to his three-year association with the Italian manufacturer.

Sainz is one of four drivers to win a race this season after claiming victory at the Australian Grand Prix and there are several teams fighting to capture the 29-year-old’s signature, with Williams, Haas, Sauber and Alpine all understood to be keen.

Reports prior to the Canadian GP suggested Williams had clinched an agreement with Sainz to replace Logan Sargeant in 2025, but Vowles refused to divulge whether there was any truth in those reports as he praised Sainz’s driving ability.

James Vowles has a decision to make. | Williams F1 Team

“First and foremost, I think Carlos is an exceptional driver, he’s a race-winning driver. I think any team would be privileged to have him as a part of their organisation,” Vowles told the written press in Canada, including, on Friday after FP1. “But more than that, there’s nothing to say at the moment. Nothing more than that.”

Asked if it will be a matter of weeks or months before their driver lineup is made public, Vowles joked: “Definitely, 100 per cent by December I’ll be able to tell you.”

Sainz denies Williams report

Having been linked with Red Bull and Mercedes, many believed Sainz would turn to Sauber – soon to be Audi – after both teams reportedly turned down the chance to hire him. But reports that he had agreed a three-year contract appear to have been premature.

An exasperated Sainz was once again left frustrated with the apparent inaccuracy of media reports claiming he had signed a deal with Williams – and confirmed he is yet to put pen to paper with any team.

“The only thing I can tell you is there is nothing locked in,” said Sainz. “I’ve seen reports in the media – I don’t know if it’s in Spain – people saying I’ve signed [for Williams]. You look at those things, it makes me laugh because I remember seeing reports three months ago that I had signed for Mercedes, reports that I had signed for Red Bull.

“Now obviously that’s not going to happen. So, it’s funny, now people are saying I’ve signed for Williams. It makes me laugh but sometimes this goes a bit unpunished in a way for some media persons.

“And I’m not talking about you guys [F1 journalists], because you guys are deep down within Formula 1 and you know when something’s been signed or not. I can just tell you that obviously it concerns me that people can get away with that kind of stuff.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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