Carlos Sainz's only realistic choice is Audi as Red Bull and Mercedes refuse to budge: Reports

Audi reportedly only option left for Carlos Sainz
Audi reportedly only option left for Carlos Sainz

Audi is reportedly the only option left for Carlos Sainz as he has failed to reach an agreement with other teams. The 29-year-old Spanish driver is set to be replaced by Lewis Hamilton at Ferrari next season.

With the announcement of the Briton joining the Italian outfit for the next season, Sainz started the search for his next F1 team quite early in the season. However, he has not settled on any of the options so far. It is apparent that with his performance in the last two seasons, he would want to move to a strong and competitive team.

Although Mercedes is currently struggling, Carlos Sainz was reported to be in contact with them earlier. The report also mentioned that the team only wanted to sign him for only one year with the possibility of another. Meanwhile, they could focus on their junior driver, Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who currently races in Formula 2.

Furthermore, according to Fox Mexico, Red Bull has offered another year's contract to Sergio Perez (although he has demanded a two-year contract). Although his performance was questionable on some occasions, the team might keep him for another running year, shutting down the possibilities for Sainz.

Reports suggest Carlos Sainz has to finalize a deal with Audi before the Monaco GP

With this, the only option left for Sainz is Audi, but the team is expecting an answer before the Monaco GP, which is scheduled for later this week. The German manufacturer signed Nico Hulkenberg in April and he is set to leave Haas and move to Audi next season, which will run as Sauber for another year before the takeover.

They have also shown a great interest in Carlos Sainz, but earlier reports from F1-Insider suggested that the team wants a reply from him before the Monaco GP. This came around the time when he was waiting for Mercedes. The report read:

"Sainz doesn’t have much time left for his dangerous game of poker. Audi wants an answer by the GP in Monaco in two and a half weeks at the latest. Otherwise, the people of Ingolstadt will look for an alternative."

It also suggested that Mercedes was a risky move for him since the team might consider choosing Kimi Antonelli soon after.

"If Sainz chooses Mercedes, he could be without a contract again in 2026 when Verstappen or Antonelli come and the door is closed at Audi."

PlanetF1 recently mentioned that Audi has a list of four potential drivers if Carlos Sainz refuses to drive for them in the future. The list includes both Alpine drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, and two young drivers, Yuki Tsunoda and Felipe Drugovich. The latter races in Formula 2 currently and serves as Aston Martin's reserve driver.

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Edited by Pratham K Sharma
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