Red Bull or Mercedes? A 1+1 contract offer is not enough for Carlos Sainz


  • Mercedes has extended its 1+1 deal with Carlos Sainz amid growing activity in the F1 driver market, but better options exist.
  • Sainz’s excellent on-track performance has boosted his market value, boasting a perfect podium record this season despite health setbacks.

The Formula 1 driver market is experiencing a period of heightened activity, with Carlos Sainz attracting significant interest. Mercedes has emerged as a surprise contender, reportedly involved in talks with Sainz over a 1+1 year contract structure. Given his upward trajectory lately, the driver has options. However, this unorthodox offer may attract the Spaniard’s attention, but he has some good options at his disposal.

Sainz is becoming an even more sought-after driver as a result of his outstanding on-track success of late. Despite surgery for his appendicitis, he returned to the grid for the Australian Grand Prix and went on to win the race. Still, the 29-year-old driver is the only one with a 100% podium record in all the races he has participated in this season.

Mercedes presented Carlos Sainz with a tempting offer for 2025

A potential 1+1-year deal with Sainz that the Silver Arrows have offered could extend beyond rumors of his suitability for the team. It can also serve as a tool to a*sess the readiness of promising junior drivers within their developmental level. Young talent like Andrea Kimi Antonelli could also make it to the team if he puts in quality performances in F2 potentially paving the way for a seat in 2026.

The wider context of the Formula 1 dynamic driver market remains an important factor as talks between Mercedes and Sainz continue. With consistent performances throughout the season, the recent debacle in Saudi Arabia aside, the Spanish driver and his talent and marketability make him one of the top drivers to challenge for the championship title in 2024 and beyond.

However, his performance did not go unnoticed by other top teams, with Red Bull Racing and the soon-to-debut Audi F1 team also expressing interest in acquiring the driver. There has been talk of signing Sebastian Vettel to the new German team which could make him and Sainz’s teammates a force to be reckoned with.

Why Red Bull could be a smart choice for Carlos Sainz?

Although Mercedes boasts a historic track record that has given Lewis Hamilton a total of six titles, Red Bull could be a more strategic choice for Sainz’s career path at this point in the 2024 season. The Austrian outfit sit comfortably atop the constructors’ championship, with Max Verstappen leading the drivers’ standings. On the other hand, Silver Arrows faced technical and tactical problems.

At Red Bull, Sainz will likely be the number two driver, strategically supporting Verstappen. This defined role provides stability and a clever strategy for maximizing team points. However, the team’s priority to become the reigning champion could remove the Ferrari driver from the limelight so important to his future in Formula 1.

At Red Bull, Sainz will be at the forefront of developing the best car, giving him a significant advantage as F1 regulations continue to evolve. Their latest cars, the RB19 and RB20 have proven to deliver exceptional results. With Adrian Neue on board at Red Bull, Sainz will build on his latest performance streak, as well as cement his place in the team in the sport.

While Mercedes remains a legendary team enshrined in history, Red Bull offers Carlos Sainz a unique opportunity to cement his position as a top contender and potentially write his name in F1 history.

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