Formula 1 Racing

Sainz should join other “big names” heading to Williams

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024

Williams team principal James Vowles says they are the best choice for Carlos Sainz Jnr as the Ferrari driver considers his options for 2025.

Sainz was left without a drive for next year when Ferrari announced Lewis Hamilton will join them alongside Charles Leclerc.

The prospects of Sainz joining a top team have diminished as Red Bull have re-signed Sergio Perez and Mercedes are widely expected to promote Andrea Kimi Antonelli from Formula 2. Sauber, which will become Audi’s works team in 2026, and Williams are thought to be Sainz’s likeliest destinations.

Williams have a “shortlist [of] two drivers” who might partner Alexander Albon next year,” said Vowles. “Simple as that.”

“I think we’ve been very open on discussing who’s very much the top of our list,” he told the official F1 channel. “But it’s now determining what we can do to find a match with, in this circumstance, Carlos.”

Vowles heaped praise on Sainz, who last year was the only driver to beat the Red Bull pair to win a race. “I think he’s an incredible driver,” he said. “He’s a race-winning driver. He’s the one that last year, above all others, was able to find his way through.

“But it’s his choice as to where he wants to go to. I mean, it’s been highlighted that there’s one or two options for him, and we’re very much one of those two.

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“I personally think we’re the right option. It’s a good match made together. But the choice remains, of course, his.”

Williams moved up from last in the championship to seventh last year, which was Vowles’ first in charge of the team. The team is investing heavily in its facilities and staff, and hired the hugely experienced designer Pat Fry from Alpine last year.

Vowles said they will announce the signing of more well-known names to its technical division in the near future. “We’re not yet, unfortunately, in a position to announce these,” he said.

“But when we do start to announce who we have signed, they’re going to see big names recognised by a lot of people across our technical organisation, across our aerodynamic organisation. And not small numbers: I think we’re at about 20, 30 people now that have huge accolades in the sport and will contribute towards the success of Williams.

“We’re in a good position. It’s going the way I’d like it to. It’s always slower than you’d like it to. You’d like people through the…

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