Shock exit at McLaren as Carlos Sainz 2025 roadblock emerges – F1 news round-up

Thomas Maher
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, on the podium, and McLaren's Lando Norris on track at the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

McLaren and Carlos Sainz made the F1 news headlines on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s headlines included a bombshell from McLaren, while a stumbling block for Carlos Sainz has been identified.

With F1 heading to Japan this weekend, Tuesday proved surprisingly busy on the news front – particularly at McLaren. The Woking-based squad dropped a bombshell press release to catch us all off guard…

McLaren lose key signing after just three months of work

Having secured former Ferrari aero chief David Sanchez, McLaren had to wait almost a year for the engineer to complete his gardening leave before making the switch to Woking.

But it seemingly hasn’t been a good fit, with Sanchez and McLaren parting ways after just three months of work together.

Shedding some light on the news, Sanchez said that the McLaren role that he had agreed to was “not aligned” with the one he found himself in.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this team,” he said.

“While the role we envisioned and had agreed to was not aligned with the reality of the position I found, I leave with respect for the leadership, admiration for the dedication of my colleagues, and appreciation for the openness and honesty in which we discussed and arrived at this decision.”

Read more: Shock McLaren changes as key Ferrari acquisition exits after just three months

Major stumbling block for Carlos Sainz Red Bull switch identified

Formula 1 journalist Lawrence Barretto has reported Red Bull’s reluctance to move too fast to secure their second seat for 2025 could end up being an obstacle too big for Carlos Sainz to overcome as he seeks to secure his future.

‘My sources say he was in contention at Red Bull even before the Australian Grand Prix weekend,’ Barretto wrote for the Formula 1 website.

‘However, the problem for Sainz is that Red Bull are in no rush to decide on a team-mate for Verstappen in 2025. It is believed they are happy to wait until the summer at the earliest – and that could be too long for Sainz to wait for fear of losing another project.

‘Red Bull are keen to give Sergio Perez time to prove he deserves to stay for a fifth season, especially given the Mexican has shown he can help the team win the Constructors’ Championship without causing Verstappen too much grief.’

Read more: Major stumbling block emerges for Carlos Sainz to Red Bull despite long-standing interest

What do we know about David Sanchez’s McLaren departure?

With the split of Sanchez and McLaren the big news story of the day,’s Sam Cooper analysed the situation to decipher what his swift departure might have meant behind the scenes.

“Early departures are not unheard of but after three months is an incredibly short time, suggesting there were unresolvable problems behind the strong MTC facade,” Cooper said.

“In his role, Sanchez was one of the senior figures of a team that only has intentions of moving up and has arguably assembled one of the best technical outfits on the grid.

“The nature of design and building an F1 car also means it is unlikely we have seen any of Sanchez’s contributions so far this season. What will he think if a part or upgrade he designed goes on to be a game-changer?”

Read more: Explained: What McLaren’s cold press release reveals after surprise big-name exit

Suspended Red Bull employee’s friend speaks to the media

With the employee at the heart of the Red Bull/Christian Horner scenario currently suspended by Red Bull Racing, a friend has spoken to the BBC about the situation to shed light on their upset about how it’s played out.

The employee is facing intensive questioning this week as part of Red Bull’s investigation into various media leaks during the fallout of the Horner investigation, and the friend said the employee is constantly “breaking down in tears”.

“It’s impossible for people to understand what it’s like for her,” the friend is reported as saying.

“She can’t talk and she won’t talk.

“But I can tell you what it is doing to her. Every time I have asked her something, she breaks down in tears and says she’s got no one to talk to because she’s not allowed to talk.

“She is very upset, very angry, very scared, very intimidated, very lonely. And I think it’s impossible for people to understand without being in her shoes what it’s like for her.”

A spokesperson for Red Bull told the BBC: “Both [parties] signed a confidentiality agreement on it so they both can’t discuss it.”

Read more: Red Bull investigation update as friend of Christian Horner complainant speaks out

Toto Wolff to attend Japanese Grand Prix

Initially set to sit out the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend and, instead, work from his home in Monaco, Mercedes’ team boss Toto Wolff has changed his mind and will be on the ground at Suzuka.

The Austrian was set to miss the race, having also sat out Japan and Qatar last year, as a scheduled absence due to the record-breaking 24-race calendar.

But, with the Australian race proving a damp squib for Mercedes, Wolff has changed his plans and will be on the ground.

Read more: Toto Wolff reverses plans to skip Japanese Grand Prix amidst Mercedes’ struggles