Revealed: Carlos Sainz’s secret weapon in F1 2025 talks amid Audi, Mercedes rumours

Oliver Harden
A close-up shot of Carlos Sainz with prominent logos of Audi and Mercedes alongside him

Who will win the race for Carlos Sainz's signature?

Carlos Sainz’s father could be the Ferrari star’s secret weapon in negotiations over an F1 2025 seat amid rumours of a move to Audi or Mercedes.

Despite learning in February that he will be dropped by Ferrari at the end of 2024 to make way for Lewis Hamilton, Sainz has enjoyed his best-ever start to a season.

Mercedes to beat Audi to Carlos Sainz’s signature?

The Spaniard has finished on the podium at each of the three races he has contested so far in 2024, claiming his third career victory at last month’s Australian Grand Prix, with Sainz the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race since the start of last season.

Having been heavily linked with a switch to Sauber ahead of Audi’s highly anticipated F1 entry in 2026, multiple reports from Italy last week claimed Sainz is on the verge of agreeing a deal to join Mercedes next season in what would be a direct seat swap with Hamilton.

Writing in a column for, Trevor Carlin – who fielded Sainz in British Formula 3 and the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2012 – believes the 29-year-old could become World Champion in the right car. recommends

Follow’s WhatsApp channel for all the F1 breaking news!

F1 quiz: Can you remember the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix finishing order?

And he reckons Sainz’s current form could allow him “to leave the talking” to his father, one of the most celebrated names in motor racing history having won two World Rally Championship titles in the early 1990s.

Carlin wrote: “Why do so many people seem to underrate him? It beats me.

“When in 2012 he joined us at Carlin as a Formula 3 driver, he was just 17, and he carried on his teenage shoulders the heavy weight of expectation that all Red Bull-backed drivers experience.

“On top of that, the fact that his father was and is a motorsport legend – a double World Rally champion – inevitably piled extra pressure on him, especially in their native Spain, where sports fans can be passionate and unforgiving in equal measure.

“Worse, he had to cope with all of that despite not having the level of experience that previous Red Bull-backed drivers had been able to draw on. Yet he showed remarkable mettle.

“Despite his abundant talent and fantastic recent form, he has no race drive lined up for 2025.

“He certainly deserves one – but one thing I’m certain of is that he will handle whatever comes his way extremely well.

“If Carlos is given the right car, he can be Formula 1 World Champion. I firmly believe that.

“He works as hard as any driver I have ever known – and I’ve known a hell of a lot. That is a legacy from Carlos Sr, who was one of rallying’s great grafters.

“This season Carlos Jr is very much following in his father’s footsteps, and he is proving that he has what it takes to be up there with the very best.

“If he carries on in his current form, he will be able to leave the talking to his very wise dad, who will surely be able to negotiate and secure for him a top F1 drive for 2025.”

Speaking in January, before Sainz’s Ferrari exit was confirmed, Sainz Sr confirmed he had “exchanged views” with his son over a potential move to Audi.

He said: “Audi, I think, is a guarantee.

“I know very well how seriously they take every project and I know very well what the German mentality in the world of motoring entails, with its advantages and certain disadvantages.

“For [a] Volkswagen Group [brand] like Audi, you have to respect them. We all know that F1 is a bit of a special world, but I have a lot of respect for Audi.

“I think it will only be a matter of time [before they succeed in F1]. I don’t have a crystal ball, but if Audi has all my respect and I think they are also putting all the ingredients in place for it to be a good project.

“As you would expect at Carlos’ place, with me being part of the Audi family, it’s logical that we talk and exchange views on what the Audi team can be in the future.”

Read next: Adrian Newey spotted on Ferrari land amid fresh Red Bull exit offer rumours