Carlos Sainz is frustrated to see his name mentioned as Audi’s top F1 driver target as the brand prepares to enter in 2026.
Audi is one of two manufacturers, the other being Ford, which is confirmed as joining the Formula 1 scene in 2026 when the series unleashes a new breed of power units.
These updates PUs are set to be cheaper than the current turbo-hybrid units, featuring a greater reliance on electrical power and using fully-sustainable biofuels to power the Internal Combustion Engine.
Ford will partner with Red Bull Powertrains, while Audi will become a works Formula 1 team from 2026 after striking a deal with Sauber which has seen them purchase a stake in Sauber Motorsport. The team will use the Audi power unit that shall be introduced by the German manufacturer.
Understandably then, talk has begun already over the drivers who could form Audi’s first Formula 1 line-up.
Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu are the current drivers at the Alfa Romeo team that is to become Audi, though a report has emerged suggesting that Ferrari driver Sainz is at the top of Audi’s list.
The Spanish racer is currently contracted with the Scuderia through to the end of the 2024 campaign.
This is talk though which only serves to frustrate Sainz, who pointed out that he does not even have a deal sorted for 2025 yet, never mind casting thought to what he could be doing come F1 2026.
“I don’t understand why people are talking about what could happen in 2026 when I still don’t have a contract for 2025,” he said, as per Marca.
“It angers me when uncorroborated and invented rumours come out.”
For Sainz then, his full focus is on Ferrari, the team which he has raced for since 2021.
And he assured that his intention is to carve out a long-term future with the Maranello outfit, with whom he became a Grand Prix winner for the first time when he took the chequered flag at the 2022 British GP.
“My intention is to stay at Ferrari for many years,” he affirmed.
It has been a difficult start to F1 2023 for Ferrari, Sainz having scored 20 of the team’s 26 points across the opening three rounds.
Those respective tallies leave Sainz P5 in the early Drivers’ standings, while Ferrari are P4 in the Constructors’, already 97 behind Red Bull in P1.