Carlos Sainz out of contention for Mercedes seat… for now

Thomas Maher
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz is no longer in the running for a Mercedes seat, at least, for now...

Carlos Sainz has been ruled out of contention for the second Mercedes seat, at least for the time being.

Sainz is a free agent on the F1 driver market for 2025, following Ferrari’s decision to sign Lewis Hamilton for next season – leaving the Spaniard on the sidelines and needing to find a new seat.

Carlos Sainz out of the running for Mercedes F1 seat

While Sainz has been left scrambling to find a seat for next year, his odds of finding a competitive seat are stronger than they would usually be as plenty of driver contracts are up for renewal and renegotiation for next year.

The Spaniard has been linked with the unconfirmed cockpit at Red Bull, currently occupied by Sergio Perez, as well as Hamilton’s own vacant seat as the seven-time F1 World Champion leaves Brackley after more than a decade with Mercedes.

Another option is Audi, despite suggestions Sainz had failed to put pen to paper according to the German manufacturer’s deadline – keeping that door open for Sainz for the time being.

However, coming into the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, PlanetF1.com understands one door has now shut on Sainz – with Mercedes no longer a prospect for Sainz, at least under his current circumstances.

It’s understood that Sainz has wanted to get a deal with Mercedes signed as quickly as possible but, with Mercedes opting to keep a watching brief to see if Max Verstappen decides to make a sensational switch away from Red Bull, an impasse has been reached in their negotiations.

However, with the sticking point in conversations revolving around timelines, rather than results or contract demands, the possibility of Sainz potentially being snapped up further down the line should other options fall through can’t yet be ruled out – although would mean Sainz would be approaching negotiations with a considerably weaker hand.

With Mercedes not wanting to make a decision in the short-term future, this places the impetus back on the team’s young protege Kimi Antonelli, with the Formula 2 driver set to tick all the boxes for an F1 super licence in August of this year, should the team fail to lure Verstappen away from Red Bull – a move that seems less and less likely based on the Dutch driver’s recent comments.

PlanetF1.com has approached Carlos Sainz’s management team for comment.

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