Carlos Sainz “nudged” in one direction as options reduce to a 50-50 choice

"There is still a lot up in the air with regard to the 2026 regulations..."

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari on the grid. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Race
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari on the grid. Formula 1 World Championship,…

Carlos Sainz seemingly has two choices for his 2025 F1 seat - and he has been “nudged” in one direction.

Williams and Sauber, who will become Audi a year later, are the front-runners to land the signature of the out-of-work Ferrari driver.

Aston Martin and Red Bull renewing Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez respectively, while Mercedes declined the chance to sign Sainz, mean his options are limited.

“I quite like the romantic notion of going back to make Williams great again,” Natalie Pinkham told the F1 Nation podcast.

“And I really like the idea of Alex and Carlos teaming up because I think they will work well together.

“It’s a tough one, a tough call to make.

“How much goes on relationships? James Vowles has worked with some incredible drivers at Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton being one of them.

“He’s an astute guy. That’s a big draw for Carlos.

“He has big intentions and ambitions for the team.

“I believe him, I buy into his dream and his long-term goal for Williams.

“But Audi is the same. Andreas Seidl is a great guy. They obviously worked together at McLaren and, I gather, got on very well there.”

Tom Clarkson said: “I would nudge him in the direction of Williams.

“Because, I think, there is still a lot up in the air with regard to the 2026 regulations.

“For an Audi team coming in? Particularly with the power unit doing it all for the first time?

“With so much up in the air, a tried-and-test manufacturer got it right last time there was a regulation change, I think will be quicker out of the box in 2026 than Audi.

“So that’s the direction I’d go in.

“I think he’d work well with Vowles, technical director Pat Fry, and Albon.”

Williams team principal Vowles admitted last week at the F1 Canadian Grand Prix that they have held talks to sign Sainz, who will lose his Ferrari to Lewis Hamilton next year.

Audi, who have a relationship with Sainz through his father, a Dakar Rally winner with the manufacturer, have held a long-standing interest.

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