Mercedes Reportedly Is No Longer Option For Carlos Sainz

Thursday, 23 May 2024 at 10:51
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Latest reports from credible media outlets suggest Mercedes is no longer an option for Carlos Sainz, who will be leaving Ferrari at the end of this season.
We are approaching the eighth race weekend, which marks the end of the first third of the 2024 season, and Carlos Sainz is still without a seat for next year.
There are a couple more drivers on the grid who don't have contracts at the moment, but Sainz is regarded as the best of them, so it would be expected that all available teams should try to secure his services as soon as possible.
However, that doesn't seem to be the case. One team reportedly did what they could to get Sainz, and that's Audi, but it seemed the 29-year-old would rather prefer either Mercedes or Red Bull.
The problem is that both teams seem to have different priorities. In Red Bull, it's Sergio Perez, while in Mercedes, it is first Max Verstappen (yes, they would like the Dutchman to leave Red Bull), then Andrea Kimi Antonelli, and maybe then Carlos Sainz.
The German team is not in a hurry to make their decision; they can wait as long as they want. But Sainz's options are decreasing as other drivers sign with teams in the meantime, so he cannot afford to wait much longer.
According to Sky Sports News reporter Craig Slater, that is exactly the reason why the Spaniard will not be driving for Mercedes next year:

"Why isn't Carlos Sainz going to Mercedes? That conversation has already been had as I understand it and the timescale Mercedes are working towards in terms of making their decision doesn't fit with what Carlos Sainz wants himself."

"He wants his contract situation sorted in the next few weeks rather than months. If Mercedes cannot get Verstappen, my understanding is Kimi Antonelli will have that seat next year."

Slater also confirmed that Mercedes isn't seriously considering offering the seat to anyone other than Verstappen or Antonelli and will take its time to finalize its decision.

"That means you can discount some of the other names mentioned. Sebastian Vettel, Esteban Ocon, even Valtteri Bottas. Kimi Antonelli only turns 18 in August, but might he even be in F1 this year? There's that potential."

"However, he is in a position if Mercedes cannot get Verstappen to be driving alongside George Russell in 2025. That one probably not decided until August or September."