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Sainz: No assurance of future Audi F1 seat amid Hulkenberg deal

Carlos Sainz says he has no “assurance” of a future Formula 1 seat with Audi but feels it “makes complete sense” for the manufacturer to have signed Nico Hulkenberg.

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari

Audi is one of several possible destinations for Sainz ahead of his upcoming exit from Ferrari, with the German OEM having long been interested in securing his services for its F1 entry in 2026 when it rebrands the Sauber squad.

In recent weeks, Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko suggested that Sainz has “a very lucrative offer from Audi that we can't match or beat” as the world champion squad considers replacing Sergio Perez for 2025, while reports from Spanish media on Thursday included speculation that Sainz has already rejected an Audi offer.

He insisted there is “no truth” to that suggestion when facing the F1 press corps ahead of this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix, where he was also asked if he had received any assurance – informal or otherwise – about the possibility of an Audi drive remaining available as he waits to see what other chances may open at Red Bull or Mercedes.

“No,” replied Sainz, speaking for the first time since it was announced that Audi had secured its first 2026 driver in recruiting Haas driver Hulkenberg from next year.

“The only assurance that I have is from myself that I want to take the right decision.

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“That’s why it’s also taking a bit longer and that’s why I want to see all the options available before taking any fundamental decision.

“I think Nico joining Audi makes complete sense for them and for Nico. I think he’s a great driver whose talent I’ve managed to see, I think he’s a great signing for them and I congratulate them because he’s been doing great at Haas.”

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Speaking in the Hard Rock Stadium on Thursday, Sainz reiterated again “there are certain things that don’t depend fully on myself and there’s going to be some waiting to be done” regarding his 2025 F1 choice.

“But, in the meantime, it’s not like we are completely stopped [negotiating],” he added. “We’re still in conversations with people and advancing what we can advance.

“But all those things include the waiting that, as I said before, we’re going to need to do [for] people to make up their minds in many areas.”

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