David Croft rules out one driver named as Mercedes 2025 contender by Toto Wolff

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

While Mercedes boss Toto Wolff named Australian Grand Prix winner Carlos Sainz among his options for 2025, F1 commentator David Croft does not believe Sainz is truly in the running.

Sainz is on the lookout for a new home on the Formula 1 grid come 2025, with Ferrari having announced before the start of F1 2024 that Mercedes’ seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton will join them from next season, at Sainz’s expense.

David Croft doubts Carlos Sainz joins Mercedes

However, rather than deflated by his Ferrari career coming to an end, Sainz has arguably hit his highest level yet, having claimed a dominant victory last time out at the Australian Grand Prix following his comeback from appendix surgery.

That certainly caught the attention of Mercedes team principal Wolff, who when assessing his Hamilton replacement options, name-dropped Sainz as one of the contenders.

However, Croft, who serves as Sky F1’s lead commentator, does not fancy Sainz’s chances of landing the Mercedes seat.

“I don’t think he’s in the frame for the Mercedes seat necessarily,” Croft told Fox Sports.

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So, with that being said, where does Croft believe Sainz could end up?

He has been extensively linked with the Audi project, as the German manufacturer prepare to join the Formula 1 grid in 2026. The family connection with Audi is already strong after Sainz’s father won the 2024 Dakar Rally with them.

But Croft also made a case for Sainz joining Williams, arguing they are a “challenge” that he could be eager to get stuck into.

Logan Sargeant faces a huge battle to keep his Williams drive beyond F1 2024, especially after the team gave his car to team-mate Alex Albon in Australia after Albon had crashed out in FP1, wrecking his chassis with Williams unable to bring a spare one.

Albon also is not guaranteed to be a Williams driver in 2025, with his impressive form since joining the team in 2022 having reportedly put him on the radar of rivals.

As Croft continued to ponder Sainz’s future, he added: “Audi would want him, it’s no secret that they’ve been in talks already. Does he want to go there? I don’t know if he does just yet.

“Aston Martin would want him, but not alongside Fernando Alonso.

“Williams would be an option, and a good option. He might see the challenge of Williams as one that he wants to take at this stage of his career.”

Sainz’s experience would certainly be a major asset gained for Williams, the Spaniard a three-time Grand Prix winner and the only non-Red Bull victor since 2022.

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