JUNE 24, 2024

Alpine emerges as new F1 option for Carlos Sainz

Alpine has suddenly emerged as Carlos Sainz's potential new F1 team for 2025 and beyond.

Carlos Sainz, Spanish GP 2024
© Ferrari

In Barcelona at the weekend, paddock insiders suggested the departing Ferrari driver is basically now ready to decide between Williams and Audi-Sauber - with an announcement due imminently.

Charles Leclerc, upset about making contact with his Ferrari teammate on Sunday, suggested Sainz's aggression was linked with his uncertain F1 future.

For Carlos, it is a very decisive point in his career, and he was certainly motivated to do something special, said the Monegasque.

I was definitely not the right person for him to try it out on.

Also in Barcelona, the well-known and highly successful Flavio Briatore was busily establishing himself as Alpine's new 'executive advisor' to Renault CEO Luca de Meo, who was also at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Part of Briatore's role will be to advise on the next driver lineup.

Pierre Gasly does the job well, the flamboyant Italian declared, and then we can put in a young man or not a young man next to him.

Briatore, 74, was spotted in conversation with Sainz's famous father and namesake, rally legend Carlos Sainz, in the Barcelona paddock on Sunday.

Another observer noted: Other people linked with Carlos and the management of his career were also seen in the Alpine motorhome.

El Confidencial newspaper thinks Sainz's father met in person with both Briatore and Renault CEO de Meo on Sunday morning, before the paddock was very busy.

As for Leclerc's accusation that Sainz has ramped up his aggression amid his uncertain next career move, the Spaniard hit back: "No, I've been driving the same since Bahrain.

I don't know why you're asking that now, the 29-year-old added. I try to give everything on track.

Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur played down the incident, with former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher agreeing: "These things can happen between teammates.

Admittedly, the two of them got quite close, but for me it was tolerable and good for the fans, too. We want to see them race against each other, so everything is fine.

Sainz says Ferrari has bigger issues to solve, anyway.

"The real problem is that McLaren and Red Bull are really far away and Mercedes has also improved a lot on this type of track.

We have to work really hard on this type of circuit, because there are more of them like Barcelona than Monaco.