New twist in Carlos Sainz transfer battle as Mercedes share Verstappen update – F1 news round-up

Mark Scott
Flavio Briatore is seen speaking to Carlos Sainz snr with Carlos Sainz jr a free F1 agent.

Flavio Briatore: Helping Alpine engineer late move for Carlos Sainz

The dust has only just settled on an engaging Spanish Grand Prix and already the F1 2025 driver market is beginning to hot up once again.

Let’s get you up to speed on the latest F1 news headlines as we hurtle straight towards the next race weekend in Austria.

Alpine make late move to sign Carlos Sainz from Ferrari

Flavio Briatore has only been back at Alpine for two minutes and he is already helping the team in their pursuit to land the best drivers possible for their F1 2025 driver line-up.

With Esteban Ocon’s exit confirmed and Pierre Gasly yet to tie his long-term future down with the team, Alpine could end up needing two new drivers in their garage next year.

And could one of them be Carlos Sainz? The Spaniard is the hottest free agent on the market and is very close to being in a position to make an announcement on his future.

It was meant to be a two-horse race between Sauber/Audi and Williams, but Alpine have thrown a late spanner in the works.

Read more: Flavio Briatore already spinning Alpine web with last-minute Carlos Sainz move

Mercedes not currently in talks with Max Verstappen over 2025 seat

Mercedes are another team with an open seat for the F1 2025 season and you can say with a great deal of confidence now that it will not be filled by Max Verstappen.

The three-time World Champion is the one that got away from Toto Wolff and Mercedes in years past and, with early-season uncertainty at Red Bull, the Silver Arrows saw a crack in a slightly ajar door for a Verstappen escape route.

However, after the Spanish Grand Prix, Wolff confirmed to media that they are currently no talks between themselves and Verstappen – but Mercedes are still going to leave it as long as possible to announce Lewis Hamilton’s replacement.

Find out why: Toto Wolff issues Mercedes update on Max Verstappen as Hamilton’s seat remains open

Unpack the crucial data from the Spanish Grand Prix

🇪🇸 Spanish GP data: How Max Verstappen cooked against a quicker McLaren in Barcelona

🇪🇸 Spanish GP data: The key factors that saw Lando Norris steal pole from Max Verstappen

Aston Martin make huge statement of intent with big-name Ferrari signing

It’s not just drivers potentially on the move, but F1 staff members, too. And the latest to catch the eye is Aston Martin reportedly signing Ferrari’s technical director Enrico Cardile.

Aston Martin are currently struggling to impose themselves at the sharp end of the grid, with a Red Bull-McLaren-Ferrari-Mercedes battle emerging in recent weeks – but that isn’t stopping Aston Martin in their pursuit to improve and bolster their backroom resources.

As Ferrari and Aston Martin make kissy faces at Adrian Newey, it appears Aston may have been able to tempt one of Ferrari’s bigger names away, according to respected Italian site

Read more: Aston Martin make huge statement of intent with big-name Ferrari signing – report

Hostile Spanish Grand Prix crowd make headlines for wrong reasons

Back at the actual race track, some sections of the Spanish GP crowd did not exactly cover themselves in glory over the course of the weekend.

Max Verstappen was subject to some boos on the Barcelona podium after winning a seventh race of the season, but the bigger target was Esteban Ocon and Alpine during a fan zone event in the build-up to Sunday’s race.

An educated guess would put those boos down to the fact that Ocon/Alpine were Fernando Alonso’s old partnership prior to his move to Aston Martin.

The reception was so negative, event organisers had to post a serious message on the big screen in order to restore a modicum of respect.

Read more: Hostile Spanish GP crowd targeting Esteban Ocon and Alpine led to cancellation threat