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Report - Sainz closing in on 2025 Mercedes deal

Report - Sainz closing in on 2025 Mercedes deal
© Reuters
Carlos Sainz could be closing in on a deal to race for Mercedes in 2025.

Carlos Sainz could be closing in on a deal to race for Mercedes in 2025.

Just as Fernando Alonso called a move from Aston Martin to Mercedes "not attractive", rumours have ramped up linking Sainz with the seat that will be vacated by his own replacement at Ferrari next year - Lewis Hamilton.

"Although speculation is the order of the day," Diario Sport journalist Laura Lopez Albiac reports, "the latest leaks from the paddock indicate that Carlos could be close to signing for Mercedes.

"In recent hours, information has emerged pointing to a fairly imminent announcement - in the coming weeks - of the agreement with the Spaniard."

Audi-owned Sauber appears to be the 29-year-old's only real other option, despite Red Bull figures insisting Sainz will be considered as a potential replacement for Sergio Perez.

But it is believed only Christian Horner is advocating for Sainz, with Dr Helmut Marko - on the opposing side of Red Bull's ongoing power struggle - preferring a new one-year deal for Perez.

"It's difficult for Sergio to fight with Max," former F1 driver Vitaly Petrov said, "but that one-two at Suzuka speaks volumes. I think they are happy with everything as it is.

"They do not need a second Max Verstappen," said the Russian.

According to another former F1 driver, Ralf Schumacher, Horner sees Sainz as a good signing from the perspective that it protects the team from the prospect of losing Verstappen.

"Carlos is used to sitting next to strong drivers," he told Sky Deutschland. "And Verstappen's time there will also come to an end eventually. Carlos knows this. He believes he can beat him."

Former F1 engineer Kees van de Grint, however, told Viaplay: "Perez will stay. He's not the best, but he's one of the better drivers, whilst Verstappen is in a class of his own.

A potential problem for Sainz at Mercedes, however, is that Toto Wolff is clearly grooming the teenaged Kimi Antonelli for an eventual race seat - therefore limiting the potential length of a contract.

Former F1 driver Giedo van der Garde urges Sainz to be patient for now.

"He will of course be talking to everyone," said the Dutchman, "but if I was him, I'd wait and see.

"If there is an option to get into the best car, the Red Bull, great. But as long as Max is there, Sainz will not be there. I don't believe that.

"If something happens with Max and he chooses another team, as Red Bull I would get Sainz. But as long as Max is there, I see Perez staying for another two years."

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Fernando Alonso at the Brazil GP on November 2, 2023
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