3 options for Carlos Sainz to consider after Sergio Perez’s contract extension at Red Bull

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco
Carlos Sainz at the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz has seen another door close for him at Red Bull as the team has now signed an extension with Sergio Perez. With that, the Spaniard now looks at an uncertain future where there is a lack of clarity over where he could end up.

In the meantime, with every passing race weekend, Carlos Sainz sees options dwindle in front of him. In all of this, what are the possible options still on the table for the Spaniard, and what are the upside and downside of the options? Let's take a look.

Possible options for Carlos Sainz

#1 Audi/Sauber

Carlos Sainz has been publicly courted by Audi for a while now, and the German brand continues to wait for the Spaniard to take a call.

The Upside

The possible upside would be moving from a massive brand like Ferrari to another huge brand like Audi. To add to this, when there's someone of the caliber of Andreas Seidl in the team and the unending resources that the brand would provide, Sainz is going to a promising project.

The Downside

The downside would be the fact that Sauber is the worst team on the grid at the moment, with far too many things that need changing and improvement. Can it turn things around? It surely can.

But it would not happen in a week or a month or a season. The 2025 and 2026 F1 seasons are more or less write-offs for any team that joins the squad, especially for someone like Carlos Sainz who is currently in a top car at the moment.

#2 Williams

Williams is another team where Carlos Sainz's name has been attached. The Spaniard could make a move to a squad that was at one time the most dominant team in F1.

The Upside

The upside here is the fact that Carlos will be joining a very exciting project that is probably at a much better starting point than Audi. The Spaniard will have a car with which he can at least score points. He's also going to be part of a development project led by James Vowles, who seems determined to turn things around.

The Downside

The downside is possibly the fact that, unlike Audi, Williams just doesn't have the resources, nor will it ever have them to the level that makes it a title contender. At best, Williams is a short-term fix for Carlos Sainz and that might not be the most attractive thing for the Spaniard.

#3 Sit out

The third option for Carlos could be if he opts to just sit out for a year and then let the entire driver market play out for the 2025 F1 season.

The Upside

The upside could be that since a lot of the driver lineups are very top-heavy, they are susceptible to a collapse. A Ferrari driver lineup of two alphas, Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc, is not going to be easy to manage. Neither is the lineup of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.

If Sainz takes the year off and waits, maybe an opportunity comes up that sees him secure a seat at a top team.

The Downside

The biggest downside of such an approach is that Carlos Sainz is not the tier 1 driver that Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, and others are. Will he even be on the top of that list? We've already seen a driver like Nico Hulkenberg take years off waiting for a seat only to get one at Haas. Could Carlos risk suffering the same fate?

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