Doubts over Mercedes move for Carlos Sainz with alternative target highlighted

Michelle Foster
Carlos Sainz pulling on his fireproofs.

Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari garage.

Damon Hill has questioned whether signing Ferrari’s “passed over” Carlos Sainz would “politically” make sense to Lewis Hamilton’s soon-to-be-former Mercedes team.

Hamilton set fire to Formula 1’s silly season when, earlier this month, the Briton announced he had informed Toto Wolff that he’d be leaving Mercedes to join Ferrari next season.

The knock-on effect of that decision affects Sainz as the Spaniard has found himself without a race seat for the 2025 championship; Ferrari have already re-signed Charles Leclerc.

‘I think politically that might not be so attractive to them’

Sainz, though, isn’t expected to be unemployed for very long.

Widely linked to Sauber, who will become Audi in 2026, the two-time Grand Prix winner is also said to be on Red Bull’s list as well as Mercedes’ in what would be a straight swap with Hamilton.

Hill, though, doesn’t see that happening.

“If you think about Carlos Sainz, he’s come from Ferrari. Would Mercedes be comfortable taking someone who has been, not rejected, but anyway passed over?” the 1996 World Champion reportedly told Sky Sports.

“So I think politically that might not be so attractive for them.”

His fellow Sky Sports pundit and former driver Martin Brundle agrees.

“The problem is that if you’re Mercedes-Benz, he’s been kicked out of Ferrari, do you want to,” said the former F1 driver.

“Does that have the right feel to take, sort of, Ferrari’s cast-off?

“Even if it was for Lewis Hamilton. That’s the cruel aspect of this. I think the kid’s world-class and I think he’ll get a good seat.”

Instead, Hill believes Mercedes should turn to Alex Albon as he would be a good fit.

“I think Alex Albon would fit really well in that team. I think he’s mature, I think he’s got experience, and he’s still young and quick.

“And I think that he’d fit in really well in that Mercedes team and understand the culture and have a good relationship with George and be quick and be able to deliver points.” recommends

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Carlos Sainz has ‘no hard feelings’ towards Hamilton or Ferrari

Despite losing his race seat when it was thought it was only a matter of time before he re-signed with the team, Sainz says he has “no hard feelings” towards Hamilton or Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur.

He even went as far as to say that it’s a “no-brainer” for Hamilton to want to race for the Scuderia.

“From my side obviously no hard feelings, with anyone,” Sainz told the media, including, in Bahrain. “I think this is how the sport works.

“Obviously I have a lot of respect for Lewis, the success he’s had and obviously the choice to join Ferrari. I would have done the same in his position.

“I think Ferrari’s a great team and at some point towards the second half of your career – or at the end, I don’t know where he’s at right now, he only knows – but for sure it’s a team you would like to be part of, so I fully understand that.

“And [with] someone like Fred that he knows and he has a good relationship with and trusts, it’s a no-brainer to go to Ferrari.

“From my side obviously, as I said, no hard feelings. I’m focusing on my future and where am I going to go next, and in the meantime [I will] keep doing the best I can for this team.”

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