Carlos Sainz to pick between Sauber and Williams for 2025

Jaden Diaz

The last six months have been very hectic for Carlos Sainz. When the year began, the consensus was that he would sign a contract with Ferrari. However, Lewis Hamilton’s arrival has forced the Spaniard to explore free agency. Initially, the blow was softened by the seemingly realistic paths to Red Bull and Mercedes. However, it now appears that Sainz will choose between Sauber and Williams.

For the last few months, Carlos Sainz has played the waiting game. Sauber has been interested in the Spaniard for a long time. The Swiss outfit, therefore, has always been an option for the 29-year-old. Still, Sainz has tried to get himself into a more established front-runner.

Mercedes and Red Bull were his two ideal targets. Unfortunately for Sainz, both appear out of reach.


Despite a change in rhetoric from Toto Wolff, Kimi Antonelli remains a leading contender for a 2025 seat. The German constructor will spend several more months assessing Antonelli’s abilities before making a decision.

This is simply time Sainz does not have. It would be unwise to wait until the end of 2024 for a seat that isn’t even guaranteed. Therefore, as reported several weeks ago, a seat at the Silver Arrows is out of the question.

Red Bull has already confirmed that Sergio Perez will partner Max Verstappen next year. The reigning Champions have gone for the conservative option – keeping harmony within the garage and retaining a teammate Verstappen will be happy with.

Whilst the decision to keep Perez is drawing plenty of criticism, this isn’t worth anything to Sainz. A team that initially seemed like a realistic 2025 destination is now off the table.

What next for Carlos Sainz? Likely Sauber or Williams

As mentioned previously, Sauber (under Audi ownership) have a long-standing interest in Sainz. The three-time race winner is an experienced and talented driver. He is also a big name in F1, meaning his arrival at Hinwil would be a statement of intent for the new manufacturer.

Of course, there is a reason Sainz did not take their offer initially. Although Audi have their status as engine supplier to attract drivers, they are still unproven in F1. Teams like Mercedes or Ferrari have better infrastructure and personnel to start the 2026 regulations on the front foot.

Speaking of the 2026 regulations, Alex Albon has spoken confidently about the Mercedes engine. He expects the factory in Brixworth to produce another top-quality power unit.

It is precisely Abon’s team, Williams, that Carlos Sainz is also in talks with. Indeed, the prevailing theme across F1 media outlets is that Williams is an increasingly feasible option for Carlos Sainz.

James Vowles jokingly downplayed links to the Spaniard in Monaco. However, the former Mercedes strategist has already met with Sainz on several occasions.

Williams could likely offer Sainz a more flexible contract, demanding less commitment than a manufacturer like Audi. Alongside the team’s use of Mercedes engines, which are a “safe bet” for 2026, the Grove-based outfit could pull off a shock move.

Sainz’s future should become more obvious in the near future. As reported by Spanish outlet, a deal could be announced in the next few weeks.