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Toto Wolff Keeps His Cards Close to the Chest Around Carlos Sainz-Mercedes Links

Aishwary Gaonkar

Toto Wolff Keeps His Cards Close to the Chest Around Carlos Sainz-Mercedes Links

The vacant Mercedes seat is one of the most sought-after spots in this year’s F1 driver market. Toto Wolff is facing arguably the biggest challenge of his F1 stint as a team boss – to replace Lewis Hamilton. There have been multiple driver names in contention and Wolff has acknowledged that Mercedes are exploring all options. Carlos Sainz becomes an obvious candidate for the Silver Arrows to do a straight swap with Hamilton. There were reports as well that Sainz is close to signing a contract with Mercedes. However, Wolff is not yet ready to reveal his hand despite admitting that the Spaniard is a strong candidate for them.

As quoted by user Junaid on Twitter (now X), the Austrian said, “Carlos is doing a great job. There’s nothing to say about it. And [he] is someone we’re taking into account. But as I said, that won’t happen in the next few weeks”.

Wolff has been stern on not hurrying into making a decision just because the driver market is quite volatile and open this year. He wishes to explore all options and select the best possible candidate for Mercedes on all fronts. Besides, Wolff is keen on observing the progress of their Academy driver, Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

Driving in F2 this year, Antonelli has already been touted by many as Wolff‘s pick for replacing Hamilton. So, it affects Sainz’s case if he wishes to take up the Mercedes seat. However, given it is a bold call to promote a 17-year-old prodigy, the Mercedes boss may be keeping his options open by not ruling out Sainz as of yet.

After Fernando Alonso sealed his future at Aston Martin, Sainz is arguably the best driver available for Wolff and Co. Unless of course, the Austrian’s utopian dream comes true with Max Verstappen pulling the trigger on his Red Bull contract.

Who are the serious contenders for Toto Wolff and Mercedes?

When Max Verstappen hinted that he may consider his future at Red Bull, Toto Wolff was certainly the most excited person in the paddock. He made several comments on wanting Verstappen at Mercedes despite them not having a race-winning car at the moment.

As the internal turmoil at Red Bull has settled, it seems unlikely that Verstappen may want to leave. Thus, seeing the Dutchman in Mercedes overalls may be a far-fetched possibility, and it does break Wolff’s utopian dream. So, this leaves Carlos Sainz and Andrea Kimi Antonelli as the two serious contenders for Mercedes right now.

With Sainz, Wolff knows that they are getting a great combination of holistic race-winning experience as well as the spark of a fast and young driver. 10 years younger than Hamilton, the Spaniard certainly becomes an amazing medium-term option for the Brackley outfit.

However, Wolff is wary of not losing Antonelli’s talent as well. Many tout the Italian prodigy as the ‘next Max Verstappen’. The Austrian has revealed on several occasions how he regrets losing Verstappen to Red Bull back in 2014 because he did not have an F1 seat available to offer him a contract.

A decade later, he won’t want to repeat the same mistake with Antonelli, provided he has a vacant seat this time around. So, it leaves an interesting deliberation for Wolff and Co. to carry out and finalize a replacement for the seven-time champion.

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Aishwary Gaonkar

Aishwary Gaonkar


Aishwary Gaonkar is the F1 Editor at The SportsRush. Having written over 757 articles about different aspects of the sport, Aishwary passionately likes to dive deep into the intricacies of the on-track events. He has been an avid F1 fan since the 2011 season, amid Sebastian Vettel's dominance. Besides the 4-time champion, he also likes Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. Among the current drivers, he thinks Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri have championship-winning caliber. Longing for a Ferrari world championship, Aishwary is also a fan of Aston Martin's underdog story and their bid to win the F1 championship. Other than F1, he follows tennis and cricket too.

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