Audi draw up four-driver shortlist as Plan B if Carlos Sainz says no

Audi consider their options if they cannot recruit Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari in parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola, Italy,
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari in parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship,…

Audi have reportedly drawn up a shortlist of four names, if they are unable to lure Carlos Sainz.

The future of Ferrari driver Sainz remains a key cog in the 2025 F1 driver line-up.

He is available, because Lewis Hamilton will replace him in red, but has not yet decided his own fate.

An opening at Red Bull now seems closed, the vacancy at Mercedes is undecided and Sainz has not yet accepted a deal from Audi, who reportedly hold a long-standing interest.

The F1 team who will run as Sauber until Audi’s official entry in 2026 have already confirmed the signing of Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg for next season.

It is widely believed in the F1 paddock that Sainz has been offered the chance to team with Hulkenberg for Sauber next year, ahead of Audi’s big arrival a year later.

But as he delays his own decision, Audi have considered their Plan B.

Alpine duo Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, RB’s Yuki Tsunoda and Aston Martin reserve Felipe Drugovich are the drivers under consideration, Blick reports.

The contracts of Ocon and Gasly at under-performing Alpine will expire this season so they are up for grabs.

Tsunoda is rated within the Red Bull clan and is outperforming teammate Daniel Ricciardo this season.

His emergence this season has caught Audi’s eye.

Drugovich was the 2022 Formula 2 champion but that triumph never led to a full-time F1 race seat.

Still a reserve driver at Aston Martin, he would likely jump at a chance to race.

The ball, however, remains in Sainz’s court for the time being.

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