APRIL 15, 2024

Sainz to Mercedes in 2025, Italian newspapers agree

Multiple authoritative Italian newspapers are all citing insider sources who believe Carlos Sainz is set to race for Mercedes in 2025.

Carlos Sainz, Japanese GP 2024
© Ferrari

What was just speculation last week is inching closer to reality, thanks to the reports in black and white at La Gazzetta dello Sport, Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, and other Italian newspapers.

Some believe the Ferrari refugee's deal will be for one season only - a stop-gap so that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff's protege Kimi Antonelli can gain experience at Mercedes-powered Williams next year.

Others think a two-year contract - for 2025 and 2026 - is more likely, or at least an agreement with more open-ended 'options' beyond Sainz's first season in silver.

Insiders are not sure if it will be a good move for the on-form Spaniard.

Mercedes is a long way off the pace, former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos told Ziggo Sport. Even (Fernando) Alonso indicated that he didn't want to sign there.

La Gazzetta dello Sport, however, is convinced that Sainz-to-Mercedes really is about to happen - with Audi-owned Sauber appearing to have been his only real alternative.

That Italian sports newspaper thinks Audi has instead kicked off talks with Alpine's disillusioned driver duo, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon.

Correspondent Luigi Perna thinks Antonelli will debut for Williams next year at the young age of 18, while Sergio Perez remains alongside Max Verstappen at Red Bull.

As for Sainz-to-Mercedes, Germany's major Bild newspaper thinks a deal will not be announced in the next few weeks.

No matter what happens, 29-year-old Sainz will remain at Ferrari for the rest of the 2024 season - where so far he has looked better than Charles Leclerc.

I have to say that from last year, in the second part of the season, I saw incredible growth from Carlos, said former F1 driver Vitantonio Liuzzi.

I didn't expect to see Leclerc under such pressure and in difficulty this year, he told Corriere dello Sport, "but he is suffering from Sainz's performances.

Next year, he (Leclerc) will have Lewis Hamilton next to him, so I hope Charles can find himself again. He will be fundamental for the balance of the reds.