Sainz's Fate Tied to Verstappen in F1's Silly Season

Sainz’s Fate Tied to Verstappen in F1’s Silly Season


Carlos Sainz’s Audi F1 switch could depend on Max Verstappen’s next career move.

Stake F1 continues to negotiate behind the scenes to form its 2025 lineup, which will likely be the one Audi fields for its 2026 debut when the name change becomes official. Alessandro Alunni Bravi, the team’s representative, remains cautious about all the rumors surrounding his team.

“I think it’s just speculation,” responded Alunni Bravi. “Any driver would talk to a number of teams to understand the situation and see if there is a shared vision for the project, especially if they are in the process of transitioning towards 2026 like we are.”

“But we are focusing on our drivers and respecting them. It wouldn’t be appropriate to disclose the details of the discussions currently taking place. No one knows what other teams are offering to drivers or what they are discussing. Sometimes, you don’t want to play into someone else’s game.”

Carlos Sainz remains a candidate for the Audi F1 seat, despite rumors suggesting he missed Sauber’s imposed deadline. However, he admits that his decision largely depends on Max Verstappen’s moves, as he would like to secure a seat at Red Bull if the Dutchman switches to Mercedes F1.

“I trust the responses from the teams I might potentially drive for next year, but unfortunately, it’s not solely my decision,” Sainz added. “I just have to wait for them to clarify the situation and see what happens in the future. For now, I’m talking to everyone, and it would be foolish of me not to.”

Nico Hülkenberg is already assured a drive with Stake in 2025 and with Audi F1 in 2026, and he would be delighted to team up with Sainz again: “I have fond memories of Carlos. He’s a nice guy and quick. And a hard worker.”

“A lot has happened since 2018, I think he has developed a lot, just as I have. I would have no concerns or reservations if he were my teammate. But that applies to anyone who might come.”

When asked about the challenging 2025 season he faces at Stake, Hülkenberg humorously downplays it, ending on a positive note about his situation: “Unfortunately, I did not receive an offer from Red Bull. It’s always a matter of alternatives.”

Sainz's Fate Tied to Verstappen in F1's Silly Season

Sainz’s Fate Tied to Verstappen in F1’s Silly Season. Sainz’s Fate Tied to Verstappen in F1’s Silly Season

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