We want Carlos Sainz, but does he want to?

The Formula 1 driver market is still in turmoil and Carlos Sainz is once again at the centre of the carousel. The Ferrari driver, who has to leave the Scuderia at the end of the year, has already been linked with a number of teams. For a long time it seemed that a decision would be made between Audi-Sauber and Mercedes.

But in recent weeks he has been increasingly linked with Williams. Some rumours even claimed that Sainz had already signed with the team. The 30-year-old firmly denied these reports on Thursday before the Formula 1 Canadian GP and openly opposed the spread of these reports. But Williams is certainly interested, even if team boss James Vowles did not want to hear about the latest rumours on Friday before the F1 weekend in Montreal.

Williams wants Carlos Sainz: But nothing has been signed yet

“First of all, Carlos Sainz is an outstanding driver. He is a driver who has won races and I think it would be a privilege for any team to have him as part of their organisation,” Vowles said of the three-time Grand Prix winner. “But beyond that, there is nothing to say at the moment,” he clarified.

Vowles is not hiding the fact that Sainz is the preferred option for the cockpit next year. But the ball is currently in the driver’s court, as he made clear in a TV interview with Sky F1: “It is his decision where he goes. It was highlighted that there are two options for him and we are one of them.” He added confidently: “I think we are the right option.”

Audi-Sauber or Williams?

Audi-Sauber seems to be the only realistic option remaining alongside Williams. The door is now closed for Sainz at both Red Bull and Mercedes. He agrees. Vowles did not reveal when a driver decision can be expected at Williams: “I can say with 100 percent certainty by December at the latest,” he avoided giving a concrete answer.

This is of course about the cockpit of Logan Sargeant. Alex Albon is known to have extended his Formula 1 contract with Williams a few weeks ago. However, the team is making no secret of the fact that the American’s days could soon be numbered if he does not show significant improvement.

Despite performance leap: Logan Sargeant threatened with Williams exit

“Our shortlist consists of two drivers and I think we were very open about who is at the top of that list,” said the Williams team boss, referring to Sainz. Vowles also underlined that Sargeant’s clock is ticking ahead of the Canada weekend: “He has to deliver more so that he is able to secure his place under these circumstances.” The day before, Sargeant had given a positive assessment of his performances in recent weeks and, above all, his development curve.

“I think I’ve done a good job over the last few race weekends with what I had,” said the man from Florida. In Imola and Monaco he had to switch to an older version because the new specification was only available in one version. This was logically given to Alex Albon as the better placed driver in the World Championship. For the race in the principality, this even meant that Sargeant had last year’s high-downforce rear wing fitted.

Vowles highlighted this as a relieving factor for Sargeant. He also sees a clear improvement compared to his rookie season: “It’s actually quite similar to Oscar [Piastri]. He is in his second year and we can now see how the confidence is growing and the performance is there.” Will this increase in performance be enough to give the 23-year-old preference if Sainz actually decides to go with Williams? That is doubtful.

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