Mercedes, Carlos Sainz
via Imago

Mercedes remains in a fix as the deadline to sign a replacement for Lewis Hamilton for the 2025 season’s second seat is inching closer. Team principal Toto Wolff wants to wrap things up as soon as possible before options eventually run out in the highly volatile drivers market.

For instance, Fernando Alonso signed an extension with Aston Martin earlier this week, which leaves Toto Wolff with two options: Carlos Sainz and rookie Kimi Antonelli. Since Sainz was reportedly in active conversation with Mercedes up until last week, team principal Wolff finally addressed the speculations to reveal the true picture.


Carlos Sainz A Viable Option For Mercedes, Confirms Toto Wolff!

Carlos Sainz
Photo by: Ferrari

In the latest conversation at the Shanghai Circuit, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was quizzed on the prospects of signing impending free agent Carlos Sainz as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton from the 2025 season onwards. Notably, Sainz was reportedly in active conversation with the Silver Arrows. And he apparently asked for a minimum two-year deal with an option for a third year. However, rumors further suggested that Wolff wants to have freedom with engine regulation change coming in 2026. Therefore, he offered just a 1+1 contract to Sainz. The differences were believed to be the reason behind the negotiations getting stalled momentarily. Regardless, the proven Spanish driver still remains an attractive option for the German manufacturer, as confirmed by Wolff himself.

Toto Wolff was asked to break his silence on the Carlos Sainz link-up rumors at the sidelines of the Chinese Grand Prix held in Shanghai. Wolff said the Spaniard is a proven race winner and has been performing exceptionally with Ferrari for a while now. He has absolutely no doubts about Sainz’s capabilities to succeed in the black suit. Wolff went on to admit that Carlos Sainz is a name they are taking into account while sorting out the best possible options for the second Mercedes seat. However, he refused to provide any specific or certain details as he believes his team, Mercedes, won’t be reaching a consensus in the upcoming few weeks. Apparently, the Austrian team principal intends to avoid making hasty decisions without considering all possible options besides Sainz. However, with Audi and Red Bull poaching Sainz, Wolff must make up his mind sooner than later.

Carlos Sainz Offered 3-Year Deal By Audi?

Red Bull, Carlos Sainz
Planet F1

In a latest interesting update, Red Bull senior advisor Helmut Marko claimed that Ferrari driver and impeding free agent Carlos Sainz has a three-year offer on table by Audi. Audi will enter F1 by taking complete control over Sauber in 2026. And so far, their favourite prospects are believed to be Sainz and Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg.

Furthermore, Marko confirmed that Audi’s deal was lucrative and that Red Bull could not match that for sure. Hence, Carlos Sainz needs to make a decision soon on where his heart actually lies. Notably, Sainz is believed to have been contacted by Mercedes, Red Bull, and Audi. However, the Spanish driver has yet to confirm his preferred choice as he wants to wait for the right offer.

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