Sainz Reportedly Began Negotiations With Mercedes In Jeddah

Wednesday, 13 March 2024 at 21:00
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Recent reports suggest Carlos Sainz's team began negotiations with the team principal of Mercedes, Toto Wolff, during the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Carlos Sainz's contract with Ferrari expires at the end of the 2024 season. As we learned ahead of the pre-season testing in Bahrain, the Italian team is no longer an option for him, as he will be replaced by Lewis Hamilton.
This means the Spaniard must now explore all his options, which he clearly said he would do. The 29-year-old is nearing his peak form, and he wants to find a team that will allow him to compete in the championships.
One person who might be interested in Sainz is Toto Wolff. The seven-time World Champion will leave his team and needs a suitable replacement.
The Austrian team principal is considering numerous options, from drivers as old as Fernando Alonso with a lot of experience to drivers as young as Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who hasn't completed a single race in F1 so far.
Sainz would be the middle way for the team principal. It would be a safe bet on an experienced driver who proved his skills in a different top team. According to Corriere dello Sport, the two parties have begun negotiations at Jeddah Corniche Circuit:

"During the Saudi Arabian GP the entire entourage of Carlos Sainz remained in the Mercedes hospitality for a long time."

"Sainz Jr's contract with Ferrari expires at the end of the season, and for this reason his manager Carlos Onorio, together with the driver's father Carlos Sainz Snr spoke at length with Toto Wolff. The negotiations have begun."

How likely are we to see Sainz in Mercedes? That remains to be seen. Both he and Mercedes have multiple options to explore, and it is unlikely they would have made the final decision so soon.
However, Sainz might prefer to be clear on his future in F1 as early as possible so he can fully focus on his performances throughout this season.