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Formula 1

Sainz's ire at inaccurate reports with no Sauber-Williams decision

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
4 min read

Carlos Sainz has expressed his concerns that inaccurate reports of having signed a new Formula 1 race deal are going “unpunished”, as he is still deciding which team to join after he leaves Ferrari.

Sainz has known for months he will be replaced at Ferrari by Lewis Hamilton next season and is expected to finally make a decision on his next move following the news that Red Bull has re-signed Sergio Perez to partner Max Verstappen in 2025.

The three-time grand prix winner had been holding out for a possible Red Bull or Mercedes seat to keep him at a top team, but that has not paid off.

While Sainz’s representatives have had discussions with all the teams still with vacancies, his choice is understood to have boiled down to Sauber - which will become the Audi works team in 2026 - and Williams.

It was claimed by some outlets in the build-up to the Canadian Grand Prix weekend that Sainz had chosen to join Williams but he has denied that a decision has been made.

Sainz actually went out of his way to correct that misinformation in his media session on Thursday in Montreal, deviating from a question from The Race about whether the opportunities he now has had changed his mindset in terms of wanting more flexibility rather than being tied down longer-term.

“No, the only thing I can tell you is there is nothing locked in,” said Sainz.

“I've seen reports in the media, I don't know if it's in Spain, people saying I've signed [for Williams].

“You look at those things, it makes me laugh because I remember seeing reports three months ago that I had signed for Mercedes, reports that I had signed for Red Bull.

“Now obviously those places are not going to happen. So, it's funny, now people are saying I've signed for Williams.

“It makes me laugh but sometimes this goes a bit unpunished in a way for some media persons. And I'm not talking about you guys, because you guys are deep down within Formula 1 and you know when something's been signed or not.

“I can just tell you that obviously it concerns me that people can get away with that kind of stuff.”

Sainz then continued his answer to return to the crux of the initial question, and indicated he still thought that a long-term project will be the best move rather than engineering in some flexibility with a shorter-term deal that allows him to move elsewhere if a better option arises.

“I'll put everything into perspective,” he said. “I will seriously consider everything inside that contract that I sign.

“I'm still a firm believer that in Formula 1 to be successful, you need a medium-to-long-term project. I don't think you're ever going to be successful in Formula 1 to go one year somewhere to win, and then leave.

“You need a proper project for those things to happen. I think 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2028 offers me a good opportunity to find that.

“I’ve said I think 2026 is going to be a lottery. You guys have seen the regs today. When I had a look, it looks impossible for me to predict who's going to be competitive.

“Right now, you guys see it maybe with a bit of a dramatic perspective, not being in a competitive car for 2025 or 2026.

“But I think 2026 is going to be such a turnaround that maybe the future holds something really positive out there for me.”

Sainz declined to answer a question about why a team like Williams would appeal to him, simply on the basis that “whatever I tell you here today, you could put it in a headline and make a story out of it and I don't want to”.

He did say, though, that what he has been presented with are “good options” and he feels “happy and proud” that he has a choice to make when not many drivers have that luxury.

“Everyone I've talked to I felt wanted,” he said. “I felt like people really want me in their team and this makes me feel proud and positive about the future.”

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