Carlos Sainz Jr.

F1 News: Sainz Jr. denies turning down 2025 Audi-Sauber move

(GMM) Another driver announcement is now looming at Audi-owned Sauber – but strong paddock rumors suggest it will not be Carlos Sainz Jr.

The Swiss-based team, now 100 percent owned by the Volkswagen subsidiary ahead of the full 2026 works project, announced last Friday that one driver in 2025 will be Nico Hulkenberg.

Bild newspaper reports that he will be paid EUR 5 million per season – a 3m pay-increase over his current Haas salary.

Hulkenberg’s arrival is definitely bad news for one of the incumbents, Valtteri Bottas or Guanyu Zhou. And neither of them sound optimistic about keeping their seats.

“I can’t say anything about whether a second spot on the team is available,” Chinese Guanyu said in Miami. “I think Andreas Seidl is evaluating all his options, including me and Valtteri.”

Finn Bottas, however, looked just as downbeat in the Miami paddock – and did not even try to hide his surprise and disappointment with a shock change of race engineer for this weekend and beyond.

“I think that’s more a question for the team,” he said when asked why he will no longer have Alex Chan – his engineer since 2022 – at his side in Miami.

“It was quite a sudden change.”

Carlos Sainz Jr.
Carlos Sainz Jr. out of hospital, meets Ferrari team in Jeddah. Photo Courtesy of Ferrari

When asked what the sudden change is all about, Bottas answered: “I think it shows that things are changing. Obviously some changes are for the long term.

“I don’t obviously know all the reasons behind every decision, it just tells me that change is happening. People are leaving. People are coming in.

“And obviously, yeah, many of these decisions are not in my hands.”

Bottas, 34, also admitted it was “surprising” to see last Friday’s news about the Hulkenberg deal.

“The driver market is starting to move, obviously, and it also kind of makes sense as he’s German. Audi made it pretty clear that they want a German driver, so it’s all good. Let’s see what happens next.”

It is believed Bottas’ only real options for 2025 are Alpine and Haas. “Obviously I’m speaking to multiple teams,” he said. “Some talks have advanced more than the others. So we’ll see.”

As for who Hulkenberg’s 2025 teammate really will be, it is believed Ferrari refugee Sainz missed the deadline set by Audi to accept their offer.

“No, that’s not true,” the Spaniard insisted in Miami. “As I’ve said, not everything depends on me. There are still some things to wait for.

“But it’s not over between us yet,” Sainz added. “We are negotiating with different people and considering different options.”

He admits that his father and namesake, rally legend Carlos Sainz, is saying “only good things” about Audi – a brand he knows well from his own career.

“He is confident that they will succeed in Formula 1,” said 29-year-old Sainz. “But there are many more factors in my decision.

“I wish them all the best to become another strong team in the sport, no matter whether I end up there or not. I just need more time.”

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :