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Audi F1’s Strategy: Sainz Priority Amid Options

08/05/2024

Audi F1, poised for future challenges, prioritizes Carlos Sainz while keeping multiple driver options open.

Stake F1 has signed Nico Hülkenberg for next year and beyond, when the team will become Audi F1. Alessandro Alunni Bravi, the team representative, reveals that the team is considering Carlos Sainz and making him a priority, but also knows that the feeling is not mutual, as the Spaniard is eyeing a move to Red Bull in case Max Verstappen leaves.

“Everyone knows that there’s a great driver available on the market, and that’s Carlos Sainz,” Alunni Bravi stated. “I think everyone would like to have Carlos on board. He’s one of the best drivers.”

“He is extremely mature, a good driver to develop the car, to drive the team forward in development, but at the same time he is very consistent, very strong in qualifying and in races.”

“And I think Ferrari has one of the best pairings of drivers. But we also know that the driver market doesn’t just depend on us. It depends on various factors. And there are many teams discussing with drivers.”

“And I think there are several options for our team. We will evaluate them, but now that we have announced Nico, we are not in a hurry to make this choice. We are just at the very beginning.”

The team is also “discussing” with Bottas and Zhou

Audi F1's Strategy Sainz Priority Amid Options

Alunni Bravi reveals that Sauber is still in talks with its current lead drivers, Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou, who are not yet ruled out for an extension. But with one seat remaining, Audi is not rushing to make a decision.

“We are discussing with Sainz and other drivers. We are also talking with our current drivers. But that’s the reason why we are not in a hurry, as we have now filled one of the two seats. Now, we can take more time. The decision is not easy to make.”

“Because, of course, we have two good drivers who have been with us for three years and who deliver good results. There’s Carlos, there are other drivers, and we need to understand—because we are making a decision that not only impacts 2025, but also the future of Audi’s factory team.”

“So, I would say that the length of the contract, the possible combination… the list of drivers is important. It’s not just the decision about one driver. And all options are on the table, starting from our two current drivers, to find the one who could fit into the overall project.”

Audi F1's Strategy Sainz Priority Amid Options

Audi F1’s Strategy: Sainz Priority Amid Options. Audi F1’s Strategy: Sainz Priority Amid Options

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