Sainz trying to focus on the long term in assessing team options

Carlos Sainz says it’s difficult to ignore current results but that he’s trying to focus more on long-term projects as he continues to weigh up his next move.

Williams and Stake — that will become Audi — are believed to remain the front-runners for Sainz’s signature, but the Spaniard has also been linked more firmly with Alpine after the French constructor started exploring the possibility of becoming a customer team in 2026. Alpine had been struggling this season but scored its second double-points finish in a row in Spain while both Williams and Stake both had tough weekends, but Sainz says he’s trying not to be influenced by week-to-week results.

“It’s not easy,” Sainz said. “I am doing the exercise myself, and my team, to really try to avoid looking at each race performance of each team and just focus on the project and the feeling that we get from the people that we talk to, and the feeling that I get from talking to each team, and obviously looking at the contracts.


“Sometimes with the competitive spirit you just try and see who is faster, but I don’t think the last race of each team is also a representative point of where they’re going to be in the next couple of years. So I’m trying to stay away from going into the race-by-race stuff.”

With the 29-year-old still assessing the options he has on the table — after Alpine and Aston Martin announced contract extensions for Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll respectively — he says the whole process has taught him a number of things about the Formula 1 paddock, as well as the ambitions of each team showing an interest.

“First of all, the situation that I’ve been in this year has made me learn a lot about Formula 1, in general, by talking to teams,” he said. “It has kind of showed me how tough this sport is, how little sometimes you have to believe what people say at the beginning of negotiations, conversations, and mainly also to trust very little people in the paddock, because it’s really a very political sport.

“There’s a lot of things like this involved, and it’s made me understand that, yeah, it’s a very tough sport in that sense, and understand the better picture of Formula 1, without going too much into detail.

“The teams that I’m potentially moving to next year, I’ve obviously dug into the state that they are [in]. It’s also [given] me probably a better understanding of Formula 1 and where each team is.”

Story originally appeared on Racer