Sainz no longer in running for Mercedes seat

football23 May 2024 17:02| © Reuters
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Carlos Sainz © Gallo Images

Outgoing Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz reportedly is no longer under consideration to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.

Sainz is seeking clarity on his next move in the coming weeks, but Mercedes team principal and CEO Toto Wolff continues to evaluate the performance of rising junior driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

"Why isn't Carlos Sainz going to Mercedes? That conversation has already been had as I understand it and the timescale Mercedes are working towards in terms of making their decision doesn't fit with what Carlos Sainz wants himself," Sky Sports reporter Craig Slater said, per

"He wants his contract situation sorted in the next few weeks rather than months."

Max Verstappen has been the subject of constant rumours tied to Mercedes' second seat, but Red Bull repeatedly has dismissed them while Verstappen has said he intends to honour his contract that runs through 2028.

Several veteran drivers also have been mentioned as possible options to race alongside George Russell if Wolff looks for a one-year stopgap in 2025. Meanwhile, the 17-year-old Antonelli is going through a rigorous private testing program to get him familiarized with F1 speed and machinery.

"If Mercedes cannot get Verstappen, my understanding is Kimi Antonelli will have that seat next year," Slater said. "That means you can discount some of the other names mentioned.

"Sebastian Vettel, Esteban Ocon, even Valtteri Bottas. Kimi Antonelli only turns 18 in August but might he even be in F1 this year? There's that potential.

"However, he is in a position if Mercedes cannot get Verstappen to be driving alongside George Russell in 2025. That one probably not decided until August or September."

Sainz is being replaced at Ferrari by the seven-time world champion Hamilton, whose move from Mercedes rocked the Formula 1 world in February.

A three-time F1 race winner, Sainz has reportedly received an offer from Audi but may be holding out to see if Red Bull moves on from Sergio Perez after this season.

"it's been hot and cold, hot and cold, in terms of the signals he's been getting from Red Bull," Slater said. "Is it in the balance?

"Interestingly I have heard that the point for Sainz's people is not (Red Bull director) Helmut Marko anymore, it's now (team principal) Christian Horner. That could be good news for Perez. Perez has been supportive of Christian Horner during all of his issues. If you had to force me to put someone in that seat alongside Verstappen it would be Perez."