Carlos Sainz reflects on time consuming F1 decision-making process, as some rivals getting impatient with the wait while others fine with it.

It is another F1 weekend and another set of questions asked to drivers who are out of contract for 2025. For several weekends now, it is mostly the same set of drivers updating about their happenings, with the decision solely dependent on Sainz.

The Spaniard remains the key player as his decision will complete the puzzle for other drivers waiting in the line. Sainz not just have Williams or Alpine or Sauber/Audi, but a distant call to Mercedes remains in position and wild thought of Red Bull too.

For such to happen, the situation will have to be shocking but it is F1 after all. Sainz admits the time consuming process of deciding, while highlighting how much of guess work it is. While Valtteri Bottas sides with him, Zhou Guanyu feels otherwise.

The Chinese racer is getting impatient as he waits for the decision from Sainz. The Finn and even Kevin Magnussen are more at ease. The Dane is calm about his situation as he highlights why he still wishes to remain in F1, even though he will be fine if he leaves.

The likes of Esteban Ocon and Logan Sargeant remain in the market too, with the American now linked to a IndyCar move with Prema if the F1 door closes. Outside of these, the question mark on Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson remains unanswered as well.

Where you at –

Sainz: “I have decided not to talk about my future until I take the decision. You guys will be first to know. Honestly, quite a lot. I’m not going to lie, Mondays to Thursday, before I arrive to the track, there’s a lot of phone calls, a lot of time spent on the phone, meetings with my management team but also with the teams that I’m talking to, trying to understand and trying to have a full picture of the situation. And it’s probably quite stressful and time consuming. Instead of maybe being able to fully disconnect and recharge, obviously your mind is still somewhere else and thinking about your future and wondering what will it be? So not an ideal situation. At the same time, when I arrive on Thursday I feel like I’m able to perform as soon as I get into an engineering meeting. As soon as I put the helmet on, I feel 100% in the car. And I think the Austria weekend kind of proves that I’m still at a very high level and performing at one of my best seasons in Formula 1. But as I’ve always said, I’m not going to be a hypocrite, I believe there’s always more performance in being in a stable contract situation than being where I’m at now. So I’m never going to deny myself on that [which] I’ve said always.”

Guanyu: “Honestly, it didn’t really change much in the last few weekends like we are all waiting for Carlos to make a decision but we are continuing to speak to different teams to understand where I’m going. Thee is some interest but we need to completely understand the picture once he has made his decision then we can talk more into that. Because also the team is waiting for him. It’s clear Sainz is kind of priority in the market now but things remain open and at this point, I still feel confident that I can have a chance somewhere. Honestly, it’s difficult to understand just because it’s not that difficult to make his decision. You’re not really making a decision of a team maybe fighting for a world championship, you’re making a decision between, let’s say, mid-running teams, depends where you want to head off.

“So I don’t know what he’s thinking, but we’re just waiting for him nothing more. It’s not something I expected, I think with his certain stance especially. And I feel like he’s holding up, of course, everyone’s decision. But at some stage, I don’t think just the drivers, I think the team will have kind of some deadline, at least, because you can’t be just waiting for, until he [has] made his mind up. So it’s weird or it’s strange in a way, obviously for me to experience that for the first time, also I think for a lot of other drivers on the grid. But yeah, nothing we can do, we have to wait. But then we’re just continuing to talk, making open conversation with different teams, so we can have the options open if there’s available.”

Magnussen: “There is stuff going on but I have nothing new to tell you guys. I mean, he is the guy that needs to make a decision for the rest of the guys available to get first in line. There’s a lot of stuff going on, and you have to look at your options. I said I consider everything, and I would say myself, personally, I’m focusing on Formula One. But, of course, there’s a lot of options outside as well, so it’s interesting.”

Bottas: “Yes, but I feel like things are starting to progress and get closer, I think, in a good way, hopefully. But, still have nothing to announce here and nothing has been signed but progressing. I think I’m in a good position, I feel like some people in the paddock still, luckily, know what I can do, what are my strengths to be part of a team. But it takes time finalising things where you are 100% confident. It helps [talking] with people [in reference to James Vowles] you have worked with.

“It’s not frustrating [to wait for Carlos]. It’s actually exciting. I mean, it’s part of the sport and we’re actually still in July. I’ve been in situation before that. I’ve had to wait until September or October. So, I think we’re still in a decent situation. If you would ask me in October, if we’re in this situation, then it may be starting to get frustrating, but in July, not really. Yes, sometimes that’s how it goes. And I think I mentioned last week, and it’s in this sport, it’s not always about pure performance, either. There’s many elements that decides the team’s priorities. So, it’s part of the game.”

Sargeant: “It is what it is. I’m just focusing on myself at this point. I feel like I’ve been doing quite a good job with what I’ve been given over the past six races, or since Suzuka really – I’ve been been happy with the way I’ve been driving. Qualifying has certainly gotten into a sensible place. I’m happy with what I’m doing and I’ll try and keep doing what I’m doing. Just try to execute some cleaner races and see what see what that brings. Honestly, it’s OK. It is what it is. I think, if anything, it just gives you more freedom to focus on yourself more than anything else.

“You can, I guess, in a way, be slightly more selfish and just try to deliver the best results you can for yourself. And ultimately, that’s better for the team as well, so I’m just trying to perform the best I can from a personal level. I don’t think it’s really that difficult. I’ve been hearing speculation for 18 months. I ultimately know what’s going on behind the scenes and, in the end, I feel like I’ve been driving well. My goal is to keep doing that and hopefully keep improving on what I’m doing.”

Ocon: “It’s going well at the moment on that side for me. So I hope in the next couple of races I’ll be able to speak more about it.”

Briatore –

Sainz: “I can say thank you, thanks a lot to Flavio for the kind words, especially from a guy like him that understands this sport and has been here for a while and he has seen a few drivers in his career, so just feeling good about those words, thank you.”

Guess work –

Sainz: “There’s a bit of guessing, a bit of luck, a bit of trying to educate yourself on what is happening around in Formula 1. What I’ve thought about is don’t judge the move in the short term or in the next few races or in the next year. You always need to see and criticise or analyse a driver’s move with perspective in time. Was this the right move for Carlos in five years time or not? That’s why I think I’m going to take every time possible to make such an important decision because it involves the outcome of the next few years of my life so I think it is valid to give myself the time.”

Elsewhere, why F1 –

Magnussen: “I can do that in two years as well, right? I could do it next year also. But, you know, I’m considering all my options and thinking about my future, of course. But it’s also pretty all-consuming to be in Formula 1, you’ve seen Carlos dragging things out. I can imagine him having to take all these decisions in the middle of a triple header is just not easy. You put all your focus and energy into delivering in your current job and your current position. So I think it is something that as a driver, you leave it into other people’s hands when it’s in times like this that are so busy on the calendar. And eventually you get a chance to make a decision. That will have to come at some point. It [F1] is the pinnacle, and it’s something that most of us here on the grid have dreamt of since we were kids. Regardless of what anyone says, getting to Formula 1 is most young drivers’ dream.

“So when you’re here, it’s fantastic and it’s a great opportunity. And if you get the chance, you have to grab it. I’ve been in the paddock for 12 years, but I’ve been in a race seat for over 10 years with some breaks in the middle. But I’ve had some experiences outside that were awesome and I’m pretty chilled out with whatever’s going to happen. And I know life’s going to be good. So, you know, although these cars are awesome to drive and Formula One is the pinnacle, there’s also a great life outside of Formula One. But I’m a racing driver and I want to race. I don’t know if I can be happy if I’m not racing. But I don’t think Formula One is the only thing that you can have fun and be fulfilled with your passion and achieve great things. But as I say, for now, right now I’m in the triple header and focusing on that.”

Here’s these F1 drivers statements from Austria

Here’s Toto Wolff on Max Verstappen, Esteban Ocon, Andrea Kimi Antonelli

Here’s last from the set of drivers regarding F1 2025

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