Carlos Sainz’s 2025 F1 ‘negotiations have begun’ with ‘lengthy talks’ in Saudi Arabia

Michelle Foster
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz looking down

Carlos Sainz looks down.

Carlos Sainz may have been little more than a spectator in Saudi Arabia after an operation, but his team were hard at work and reportedly negotiating a move to Mercedes for the 2025 season.

Sainz, who was sidelined at the Jeddah circuit as he had to undergo an appendectomy, made an appearance in the paddock ahead of the Saturday race to cheer on his team-mate Charles Leclerc and his replacement Oliver Bearman.

‘The negotiations have begun’

His father Carlos Sainz Snr was also present, as too was his manager Carlos Onorio.

They apparently took the opportunity to head down to Mercedes’ hospitality for lengthy discussions with motorsport boss Toto Wolff, a report in Italy claiming it was the start of negotiations over a 2025 seat.

Mercedes are short a driver for next year’s championship after Lewis Hamilton’s shock decision to join Ferrari, a decision that has left Sainz without a 2025 drive.

He has been linked to Hamilton’s Mercedes seat in what would be a straight swap.

According to Corriere dello Sport, “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,” claimed the Italian publication, “have begun.”

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But while Sainz has kept his cards close to his chest when it comes to the names of the teams he’s speaking with, the Spaniard has been open about some of his criteria for his next F1 contract.

“[I am] looking for a project first that allows me to win and be performing as soon as possible,” he told media including PlanetF1.com in Bahrain.

“But also for sure looking at stability and how important stability is in a project in the medium to long term. To build a strong team and a team to understand the driver and the driver to understand the team.

“So with those two things in mind and those two things that you need to put into the equation, I will take my decision, taking my time accordingly.”

He, however, downplayed Sainz Snr’s conversations with many of the higher-ups in the paddock.

“If you saw my dad went to say hello to Helmut Marko you need to remember he has a great relationship with him in the same way we have a good relationship with Toto,” he said.

“With everyone in the grid it is normal at this stage of the year. But also, we haven’t seen each other for three or four months or so you’re going say hello to each other.”

Read next: ‘If I was Fred Vasseur’ – Helmut Marko’s bold plan for Oliver Bearman after incredible Saudi debut