Wolff And Mercedes 'Afraid' Of Sainz's Inconsistency According To Albers

Sunday, 28 April 2024 at 22:00
carlos sainz ferrari47
Christijan Albers (ex-F1 driver) discussed Carlos Sainz's 2025 seat options during one of his latest podcast appearances.
Carlos Sainz's manager revealed to the media after the Chinese Grand Prix that he expected a movement in the driver market in the upcoming weeks, but it wouldn't be from the said of the Ferrari driver.
A movement indeed happened as Nico Hulkenberg signed a "multi-year" deal with Sauber (future Audi). Audi is a team that also wants the 29-year-old driver, and apparently, they gave him a deadline until mid-May to decide.
In the meantime, Sainz is delaying the decision for as long as possible, most probably because he wants to see if there is an opportunity to join Mercedes or Red Bull.
While the Spanish driver would form a very strong duo with Max Verstappen, Christijan Albers suggests it might not go as well due to their history. Speaking on the Telegraaf Formula 1 Podcast, he said:

"He is in a difficult package because there is of course a small chance with Red Bull. We talk very enthusiastically about those two [Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz] side by side, but we know from their years at Toro Rosso that that did not go well."

So if there wasn't an option in Red Bull, the 29-year-old could still find a home in Mercedes; the problem there is that Toto Wolff probably still doesn't see Sainz as a top driver.
The Mercedes team principal's priority is said to be 17-year-old Andrea Kimi Antonelli, whom he believes is a future World Champion in the making.
On the other hand, he said he would definitely find Verstappen a seat if he were interested in changing teams. This suggests Wolff is searching either for the "best of the best" type of driver or a youngster with immense potential. Unfortunately, according to Albers, Sainz fits neither of these categories.

"Then there are still options at Mercedes, but Toto is afraid because he is inconsistent. Sainz does not always perform consistently, or always at top level."

"Mercedes needs a top driver, or you have to create a new star, so [Andrea Kimi] Antonelli or [Liam] Lawson or [Oliver] Bearman. But they also have no experience."