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Formula 1

Carlos Sainz Has Been Given Clear Ultimatum

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Carlos Sainz, who will leave Ferrari at the end of the year and is currently in high demand, reportedly has to decide on one of the continuation options by the end of April.

Despite Stake/Kick Sauber competing in Formula 1 in its current form next year, defying earlier rumors and speculations, Audi has secured 100% ownership of the team, ensuring it will continue as its own factory project from 2026.

With the future clarified in this regard, the search for drivers can begin – it is understood that Andreas Seidl, who is leading Audi’s F1 project, aims to secure the two drivers by 2025 who will embark on this new era with the team.

Nico Hülkenberg, driving for Haas since last year, is a serious candidate. Beyond his nationality, the German driver’s reliability and famously good technical feedback make him an attractive choice – acquiring him might not be a difficult task.

Carlos Sainz has also been long associated with Audi’s project. Seidl has previously worked with him at McLaren, and Audi is familiar with the Sainz family, as Carlos Sainz Sr. most recently won the Dakar Rally with Audi. Like Hülkenberg, Sainz is considered a good developer and is also very strong mentally on the track.

Sainz’s potential signing has been made easier by Ferrari’s decision to let him go at the end of 2024 in favor of Lewis Hamilton, though his current excellent form has attracted interest from others, such as Red Bull, and he could even end up at Mercedes.

At Sauber, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu are in their third season together, and it seems unlikely they will be retained. The experienced, multiple race-winning Finn has almost become invisible in the past seasons, and it would be surprising if he received an extension – Zhou’s nationality might work in his favor since the Chinese market is also significant for Audi.

Regardless, Audi wants to clarify their driver lineup as soon as possible. According to RacingNews365, they have given an ultimatum to their most sought-after candidate, Sainz. The 29-year-old Spaniard supposedly has until the end of April to sign if he wants to race for the Audi team.

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