Carlos Sainz holds the cards in 2025 Formula 1 driver market

Carlos Sainz stays quiet about his 2025 F1 plans amid rumours, especially after Mercedes reportedly dropped off his list of potential teams.

The 29-year-old Spaniard, a key figure in this year's driver market, has not confirmed if his options are now limited to Red Bull and Audi.

Sainz, who is leaving Ferrari at the end of the 2024 season, was reportedly offered a "one-plus-one" deal by Mercedes.

However, recent reports suggest the Brackley-based team are no longer a contender. The focus now shifts primarily to Red Bull and Audi, with the latter being a likely destination given its emerging project with the current Stake team. Yet, sources indicate Sainz prefers Red Bull.

The uncertainty around Sergio Perez's future with Red Bull adds another layer to the speculation. Perez's position alongside Max Verstappen is still in question, which potentially opens a slot for Sainz.

Despite these swirling rumours, Sainz remains non-committal.

"I cannot confirm it. Sorry," Sainz told reporters when asked if Mercedes was off the table, leaving only Red Bull and Audi as his choices.

Within the F1 paddock, Sainz is seen as the lynchpin of the driver market, influencing the entire "silly season." However, he downplays this notion, insisting that the driver market is interconnected and not dependent on a single decision.

"Everyone depends on everyone. Formula 1 is a circle," Sainz explained. "I haven't made my mind up yet, and I don't know where I'm gonna be racing next year. I haven't set any deadlines."

Despite potential pressure from teams eager to finalize their line-ups, Sainz appears unfazed by the urgency. He emphasized that once he decides, things will proceed swiftly.

"Don't worry, I'm not gonna let slip anything," Sainz assured when asked about losing potential opportunities. "I'm just going to put all the options on the table and make the right decision. I can tell you that once I make my mind up, everything will happen very quickly.

"It's all about putting everything together that I feel like I need on my next new contract."

As the Formula 1 season progresses, the spotlight now turns to the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix, set for May 24-26. This iconic race not only serves as a highlight of the season but also a crucial juncture for teams battling for supremacy on the storied Circuit de Monaco. For Sainz, the coming weeks are pivotal, with his decision potentially reshaping the driver landscape for 2025.

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