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Carlos sainz jr audi 1

How Carlos Sainz’s Fairytale Audi Future Could Become a Reality

The week after his two-time WRC-winning father Carlos Sainz Sr led the Audi RS Q e-tron to Dakar victory, Carlos Sainz Jr saw his contract negotiations with the Ferrari F1 team collapse.

Sainz was the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race last season, but with a “chaotic” end to the year, negotiations started later than expected and the parties were unable to come to a resolution for the 29-year-old driver. It was then suddenly announced that Lewis Hamilton would be joining Ferrari alongside Charles LeClerc in 2025. What does this mean for Carlos Sainz? Well, the door’s been left wide open at Audi.

RELATED: Audi is Officially Entering Formula 1 from 2026.

Carlos sainz jr with his dad carlos sainz sr
Carlos Sainz Snr and Jnr | Image: GEPA

First, Carlos Sainz will have to find his way onto the grid in 2025 (unless he wants to take a Ricciardo-style sabbatical) but he will then almost certainly have an opportunity to join the German manufacturer where family connections are stronger than steel.

His father, Carlos Sainz Sr, led the Audi RS Q e-tron to Dakar victory on January 20th, 2024. And following his historic success, the 61-year-old spoke to Spanish publication about Audi’s F1 preparations where he admitted that he’s talked to his son about joining the team. “Audi, I think, is a guarantee.”

“As you would expect at Carlos’ place, with me being part of the Audi family, it’s logical that we talk and exchange views on what the Audi team can be in the future.”

“For a Volkswagen Group brand like Audi, you have to respect them. We all know that F1 is a bit of a special world, but I have a lot of respect for Audi… I think it will only be a matter of time before they succeed in F1. I don’t have a crystal ball, but Audi has all my respect and I think they are also putting all the ingredients in place for it to be a good project,” he continued.

Audi formula 1 car
Audi will be joining the F1 grid in 2026 | Image: Supplied

More than anyone on the F1 grid, Carlos is best poised for the opening at Audi. Let’s not forget his former team principal at McLaren, Andreas Seidl, was appointed Sauber’s chief executive last year.

Sainz will be turning 30 in September of this year, so he will have another two or three contract terms to help bring Audi to the front of the F1 grid. Sainz Sr expects Audi to take all the right steps to become a top team in Formula 1 – they shut down his beloved Dakar Rally program to focus on F1.

For now, Sainz will have to focus on steering the Ferrari to victory this upcoming season before his attention changes to filling a seat for 2025. “News about my future will be announced in due course,” he said in a statement. “We still have a long season ahead of us and, like always, I will give my absolute best for the team and for the tifosi all around the world.”

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