Carlos Sainz Jr.

F1 News: Sainz Jr. to choose between Williams and Audi next week

(GMM) Carlos Sainz Jr. is now mere days away from announcing the identity of his new Formula 1 team for 2025 and beyond.

According to a source in the Spanish media, the departing Ferrari driver will not make his decision between Williams and Audi-Sauber on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday – but he will make it almost immediately after that.

“I will notify my rivals who are affected by the decision, I’m a good guy,” the 29-year-old smiled, after Kevin Magnussen earlier this weekend described Sainz as the “cork in the bottle” of the driver market stand-still.

“I just need a couple of days at home,” Sainz Jr. added.

Williams boss James Vowles has made a strong pitch to attract Sainz, reportedly offering him a four-year contract with plenty of driver-sided options and an attractive pay package.

Related ArticleF1 News: Williams, Sauber options for Sainz Jr. ‘a shame’ – Berger

But the long-term nature and pay structure offered by Audi-owned Sauber may be even more attractive.

“He is one of the drivers we spoke with,” Sauber team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi told Sky Italia in Barcelona. “He could bring us talent, motivation and speed.

“But for us, we need a driver who can make a long-term commitment. The decision is close, but it’s not just Carlos, we’ve also spoken with other drivers.”

It is believed Alpine’s Pierre Gasly could be another option for Audi.

“We want drivers who are with us from the beginning for this long journey, and obviously now the decision is getting closer. We need to start working on the car and next year’s drivers is an important element,” Bravi added.

“I think someone like Carlos, like Nico Hulkenberg who we have already signed, can bring us a lot, but there are also other drivers on the market with the characteristics we want.

“So I don’t only want to talk about Carlos because that would not be respectful towards all the other drivers we are talking about.”

New Alpine advisor Flavio Briatore on Saturday indicated that the Renault factory team would be happy to re-sign Gasly, but the 28-year-old French driver is not quite ready to commit.

“It is an ongoing process,” said Gasly. “The market is very clear right now. There are conversations and it is evolving. I don’t want to talk too much until it is decided and announced.”

Gasly is not ruling out that Alpine could make a big step forward for 2025.

“If you look at McLaren or Aston, and everything they have done in recent years, changes for the better are possible,” he said. “Each situation is unique.

“I see many positive changes in the team and the factory, although they do not necessarily translate directly into better performance on the track.”

Pierre Gasly
Alpine F1 driver Pierre Gasly

Meanwhile, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff denies that Kimi Antonelli’s F1 debut next year in Lewis Hamilton’s place is set in stone.

“There is no rush to put him in an F1 car,” he told Sky Italia.

“He is doing Formula 2, he is learning and he has been testing with us, but at the moment we still don’t want to make a decision on the second seat for 2025.”

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