Sainz dream candidate Mercedes? 'Then they have some explaining to do'

Sainz dream candidate Mercedes? 'Then they have some explaining to do'

5 March - 15:30

Carlos Sainz is in his last year at Ferrari, now that it has been announced that Lewis Hamilton will race for the Italian superpower from 2025. The Spaniard seemed to be counting on a contract extension, but now suddenly has to look for an employer. Is a move to Mercedes among the possibilities? Damon Hill thinks so, although he places a caveat.

Mercedes seeks new driver

"Would Mercedes be the right place to go? There is the problem with the fact that you’re swapping drivers from Ferrari to Mercedes, and Mercedes would have to explain why they’re taking someone who’s been thrown out in favour of the driver that they already had", Hill told the F1 Nation Podcast.

Sainz would fit the profile outlined by Wolff's team, though. "What they’re after at Mercedes is someone who can deliver at the sharp end in Formula 1, and he can do that, and also he’s driven for a very big team in Ferrari so he understands all of those pressures. I think Carlos would be a strong candidate for that place at Mercedes.”

Within its own ranks, the German formation also has Andrea Kimi Antonelli as an option. The Italian is making his debut in Formula 2 this year and so the 'big' Mercedes seat may come a little too soon for him. "If you promote a young driver, they've got to learn about the team. They've got to learn about Formula 1. You can see Oscar [Piastri] and his enormous talent. He's still learning." Attracting 42-year-old Fernando Alonso does not seem obvious either: "You put Fernando in, you don't know how many more years he's going to go on for."

Sainz and Red Bull

At the same time, an opportunity at Red Bull Racing may also be beckoning for Sainz. Should Sergio Perez not live up to expectations this season, he will not have to count on a contract extension and a spot will become available. Moreover, there is a (small) chance of Max Verstappen leaving. Mercedes is interested and may be able to strike if Red Bull does not resolve the Horner situation to the Verstappens' liking.