Sainz’s audition for Mercedes: The drive that caught Wolff’s eye

Carlos Sainz Jr.’s performance at the Bahrain Grand Prix was nothing short of a statement, racing with the kind of fervor that says he’s not just here to compete; he’s here to win. With Lewis Hamilton set to take his spot at Ferrari in the upcoming season, Sainz is eyeing a future possibly with Audi but also hasn’t ruled out the chance of landing a coveted seat at Mercedes or even Red Bull.

Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ master strategist, couldn’t help but praise Sainz’s Bahrain exploits. “Carlos put in a very strong performance,” Wolff acknowledged, hinting at the Spaniard’s driven state, “He’s probably still driving around with some anger.” Yet, Wolff maintains the team’s focus remains inward: “However, we focus on our team.”

Former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos sees Sainz’s current season as a pivotal audition for his future, “This is his job interview,” remarked Doornbos, impressed by Sainz’s refusal to back down, “He drove like he was a fire engine.”

Christian Danner and Timo Glock echoed sentiments of admiration towards Sainz’s assertiveness on the track, with Glock noting, “Sainz has put a clear exclamation mark internally and will continue to drive like this, for himself.”

Antonio Lobato and Glock both see a renewed Sainz, one who’s more aggressive and ambitious than ever, with Glock adding, “Carlos is a guy with experience – worth his weight in gold for Audi.”

The Mercedes seat speculation swirls, with Gunther Steiner suggesting Wolff’s grooming of young talent Kimi Antonelli, but not ruling out seasoned drivers like Sainz or Nico Hulkenberg for the near future. “He is in no hurry, because none of those drivers are going to sign anything before Toto makes his choice,” Steiner noted, emphasizing the importance of experience in chasing championships.

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