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Alpine F1's Briatore Hails Sainz as Top Talent

Sainz Stands Firm Despite Briatore’s Praise

02/07/2024

Despite high praise from Briatore, Alpine F1’s Carlos Sainz remains unfazed by external pressures.

The likelihood of Carlos Sainz signing with Williams for 2025 and beyond has nearly completely collapsed.

Until very recently, the Ferrari driver was wavering between two long-term offers—a three-year deal with Audi and a four-year stint with Williams.

However, the 29-year-old driver seemingly missed Williams’ deadline to the extent that the team led by James Vowles may have entirely lost patience.

“As I’ve said before, I’m certainly not going to endure this pressure on a Sunday afternoon after a podium that we look forward to enjoying,” Sainz stated in Austria, after unexpectedly finishing third at the Red Bull Ring.

“I think sometimes we take for granted being on one of these podiums, celebrating, wearing a Ferrari suit, and I told myself to enjoy this moment because who knows when it will happen next in the future.”

Indeed, while Sainz initially hoped for a top seat in the future—at Red Bull or Mercedes—his only other real option now is a late offer from Alpine F1’s new executive advisor, Flavio Briatore.

It is believed that the three-time Grand Prix winner is leaning towards Briatore’s offer of a mere one-year contract, leaving the door open for Sainz to move to a true top team in 2026 should an opportunity arise.

When asked this Sunday, Briatore was evasive about Sainz and declined to comment on the ongoing negotiations between the Spaniard and the French team.

“Carlos Sainz is a very good driver who will race for Ferrari until the end of the season. What I know about Carlos is that he is a super driver.”

Regarding whether Sauber or Williams are losing patience waiting for his decision, Sainz said, “Even if some teams are nervous or pressuring me, it is time for me also to enjoy this moment of being on a podium.”

“I will be honest and straightforward with the teams, but it is such an important decision for me as well that I will take all the time I need.”

“If there are teams that cannot wait or are a bit impatient, there’s nothing I can do about it. It will be my future, my decision, and I will try to be as honest as possible with everyone and take the time I need.”

With Sainz possibly now out of the running at Williams, the Grove-based team has reignited serious negotiations with Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon.

News on the Mercedes engine for Alpine?

On the topic of rumors surrounding Alpine F1, Toto Wolff was asked about the French team’s request to have a Mercedes F1 engine in 2026, thus abandoning their own engine project.

“Alpine is currently exploring all sorts of avenues. Their management is clearly not satisfied with their performance,” Wolff confirmed.

“But you know how it is in Formula 1: things move. Three races ago, Alpine had every reason to explore opportunities.”

“But look at Barcelona and Austria, and they look much better. So maybe overall, it’s not just the engine that’s troubling them. They know how to make an F1 engine, after that it’s also a question of their choices.”

Alpine F1's Briatore Hails Sainz as Top Talent

Alpine F1’s Briatore Hails Sainz as Top Talent. Alpine F1’s Briatore Hails Sainz as Top Talent

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