Sainz ‘still’ in F1 limbo as Alonso makes 2025 decision

Uncertainty shrouds Carlos Sainz’s professional future as the Formula 1 ace remains in the dark about his 2025 team. Despite the swirling rumors and speculation, Sainz openly admits he has “no idea” which team’s colors he’ll don post-2024.

Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, has decisively shut down all the speculation about his own future by reaffirming his commitment to Aston Martin. This move not only cements his place in the team for the forthcoming year but also into 2026, a period heralding a new era under revamped regulations, and heralds an eventual reunion with Honda’s engineering prowess.

The Spaniard’s extended tenure with Aston Martin goes beyond mere racing duties, as it includes a role that transcends his time on the track, hinting at an ambassadorial position post-retirement. Despite engaging in discussions with other leading contenders like Mercedes and Red Bull, Alonso’s loyalty remains with the Silverstone outfit, evidenced by his confirmation, “Probably yes,” he said when probed about his future involvement with the team even when his racing days are over. His ambiguity about retirement timelines underscores a commitment to longevity over short-term engagements, stating, “I don’t know when I’m going to stop driving. If I continue for many years, I may reach the contract (end) date. To commit to a one-year project didn’t make sense for me. I felt more loved at Aston Martin.” His choice was influenced by the other teams’ less compelling overtures, “The other conversations were light and did not lead me to conclusions, or were taking more time. At Aston there was a clear desire to work together.”

Sainz, 29, faces a crossroads in his career with potential pathways leading to Red Bull or Mercedes, though whispers suggest a future with Audi-owned Sauber might be more realistically on the horizon. Esteemed Spanish F1 commentator Antonio Lobato, in discussions with DAZN, highlighted Sainz’s coveted status, asserting, “With his performance, Carlos is the one who is wanted right now. Any team wants him, so now it’s Carlos’ decision to choose the best team from among them.” This sentiment is echoed by Andy Soucek, a Spanish motorsport figure, who confidently asserted to Marca, “He deserves a place in a leading team and the entire grid knows it. And I have no doubt that it will be so.”

The stasis surrounding Sainz’s future is partly attributed to the anticipation of Max Verstappen’s next move, as elucidated by Michael Schmidt of Auto Motor und Sport, “Everyone is waiting to see what Max Verstappen does.” This waiting game contrasts with Audi-Sauber’s urgency to finalize its driver lineup, a sentiment Sainz himself resonates with, as he revealed to Sky Italia his readiness to expedite his decision-making, “I have no idea where I will be in 2025. At the moment I still have nothing to say but obviously it doesn’t just depend on me but also the other teams. They know that I’m available. Let’s see what will happen.”

In another noteworthy development, Mercedes’ Toto Wolff has spotlighted Kimi Antonelli as the principal contender to fill the void left by Lewis Hamilton, categorizing him as “one of the favourites.” Wolff’s statement introduces an element of suspense to the driver market, underscoring a strategic patience within the sport’s upper echelons, “Some of the other top drivers are going to make a decision on what to do soon, but there’s a feeling that points me in a direction not to take the decision too quickly.”

GMM

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