Sauber point finger at F1 driver who they want to replace Valtteri Bottas

“Everybody knows that there is a top driver available on the market"

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Sauber. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Sprint Qualifying
Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Sauber. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami…

Carlos Sainz is top of Sauber’s shopping list for the 2025 F1 season.

The in-form Ferrari driver is out of a drive next year, when Lewis Hamilton will replace him, but his availability has piqued the interest of multiple teams on the grid.

Chief among the interested parties is Sauber, who will evolve into Audi in 2026.

The German powerhouse manufacturer has a relationship with Sainz’s father, who drove their car to victory at the Dakar Rally.

Sauber have already signed Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg for next season and beyond, and admit they want Sainz to partner him.

That would mean current duo Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou would both be out of a seat.

“Everybody knows that there is a top driver available on the market, Sauber’s team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi said. “It’s Carlos Sainz…

“Everybody would like to have Carlos on board. He is one of the best.

“He shows to be extremely mature, a good driver to develop the car, to drive the team for the development. At the same time, very consistent, very strong. Both in qualifying and race.”

Mercedes and Red Bull could also vie for Sainz although the door to Aston Martin has shut after Fernando Alonso’s new contract.

Alunni Bravi added: “Ferrari has one of the best pairs of drivers.

“We know that the driver market is not dependent on ourselves.

“It is dependent on different factors. There are many teams that are discussing with drivers. There are several options for our team.

“We will evaluate. But, now that we have announced Nico, there is no rush to make this choice. We are still at the beginning.

“We are speaking with [Sainz] and other drivers. The decision is not an easy one.

“We are taking a decision [will not just impact] 2025. But also the future of the Audi works team.

“The driver line-up is important. It is not just the decision of a single driver.

“All the options are on the table, starting from our current two drivers.”

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