Sainz Not Part Of 'Top-Two' On Mercedes's Shortlist According To Barretto

Wednesday, 03 April 2024 at 15:30
carlos sainz ferrari29
Formula 1 reporter Lawrence Barretto reported that Carlos Sainz isn't one of Mercedes's top two potential drivers for the 2025 seat.
The Spanish Ferrari driver was a bit overlooked over the last few years at Ferrari. However, since the Italian team decided to sign Lewis Hamilton rather than him, the 29-year-old has been showing some incredible performance.
Multiple F1 pundits have now suggested that Ferrari rushed its decision to sign the seven-time World Champion and that keeping Sainz might have been a better option.
On the one hand, this creates an opportunity for other teams to snatch the Spaniard for themselves. On the other hand, Sainz still doesn't have a contract for 2025 in his hand.
He knows he will turn 30 this year and is nearing his peak in the next couple of seasons. Consequently, the Ferrari driver wants to sign with a team that can offer him a title-contending car.
Lucky him, two of the top three teams are currently searching for a driver. On the contrary, the situation isn't ideal. According to Lawrence Barretto, Red Bull was potentially interested in Sainz even before his win in Australia, but the team isn't in a hurry with their decision. Barretto wrote for F1's official website:

"My sources say he was in contention at Red Bull even before the Australian Grand Prix weekend."

"However, the problem for Sainz is that Red Bull are in no rush to decide on a team mate for Verstappen in 2025. It is believed they are happy to wait until the summer at the earliest – and that could be too long for Sainz to wait for fear of losing another project."

The other option for Sainz could be Mercedes, but there are multiple issues. Firstly, Toto Wolff also asserted that he is in no hurry to sign a driver. Secondly, Barretto reports Sainz isn't even one of the top two candidates for the seat in the German team:

"It is believed that for whatever reason, the Spaniard is not in the top-two on the team's shortlist (Fernando Alonso is understood to be P2 behind Antonelli)."

Sainz could still have the option to go to Aston Martin, which is on the rise and could compete for the title after the change of regulations in 2026.
But Lance Stroll currently occupies one seat on this team, and the British team has made it clear they want Fernando Alonso for the other. Where do you see Sainz in 2025?