Carlos Sainz laughs on reports noting that he has already signed his new F1 contract, as James Vowles makes public approach.

Since the announcement of Sainz leaving Ferrari at the end of the 2024 F1 season, the Spaniard has already signed with Red Bull, Mercedes, Sauber/Audi and even Williams – as the reports have suggested and have somewhat confirmed too.

But none of it is true. Sainz has played down on all accounts. One of the seats at Red Bull is done and dusted even, with the other three still open. In the lead-up to Canadian GP, the Spaniard was reported to have already signed up with Williams.

Whenever he reads such things, he can only laugh about it. “The only thing I can tell you is there is nothing locked in,” said Sainz. “I’ve seen reports in the media. I don’t know if it’s in Spain, or people saying I’ve signed or…When you look at those things – it makes me laugh, because… I remember seeing reports three months ago that I had signed for Mercedes.

“Report that I had signed for Red Bull. Now obviously those places are not going to happen. So, yeah, it’s just funny, no? Now people saying I’ve signed for Williams. It makes me laugh, knowing that sometimes this goes a bit unpunished in a way for some media reports. And I’m not talking about you guys because you guys are in Formula 1 and you know when something’s been signed or not.

“So, yeah, I can just tell you that obviously it concerns me that people can get away with that kind of stuff without being backed or anything like that. Apart from that, and whenever I have something to say, or something to announce, you guys will be the first one to know and I’ll be here openly talking about it. And yeah, about my future, I’ll put everything into perspective, I will seriously consider everything inside that contract that I sign.

“I’m still a firm believer that in Formula 1 to be successful you need a medium to long term project. I don’t think you’re ever going to be successful in Formula 1 to go one year somewhere to win and then leave. I think you need a proper project for those things to happen. And I think ’25, ’26, ’27, ’28 offers me a good opportunity to find that, no?,” summed up Sainz, who didn’t wish to even speak on why Williams will be a good option.

He feels if he says anything about a particular team, media will speculate and write things about it. “I cannot elaborate on that because I prefer not to comment because whatever I tell you here today, you could put it in a headline and make a story out of it and I don’t want to,” said Sainz.

“I can just tell you that all of the options that I have on top of the table are good options and I am happy and proud of the fact that I can choose my future in Formula 1. I don’t think so many drivers in their career are in front of them have an opportunity of choosing where they can go and spend the next two or three years and everyone I’ve talked to I felt wanted, I felt like people really want me in their team, and this makes me feel proud and positive about the future.

“I appreciate obviously James’ interest and kind words that he has always towards me. The same can be said about how I feel towards him and his team. But the reality is that I haven’t made up my mind yet about where I’m going to go next year because, as I said in the press conference the other day, I’m too focused.

“Right now, my head is too focused on every weekend that we’re doing. Weekend in, weekend out, I’m fighting for podiums or wins. So it’s very difficult to put your mind in the future when you have such an important weekend coming up all the time. I’m going to need some time to sit down with my management, with myself, have a conversation with myself and then decide where I want to go. But right now, there’s nothing decided,” summed up Sainz.

Williams team boss Vowles is public with his approach to take in the Spaniard. Having signed up Alexander Albon, the seat of Logan Sargeant is up for grabs with the American not doing enough as of now to retain himself for a third season.

Vowles wishes to lure Sainz into the Williams fold while noting about some hiring at senior level that the F1 team will announce in due course. “First and foremost, I think Carlos is an exceptional driver,” he said to media. “He’s a race-winning driver. And I think any team would be privileged to have him as a part of their organisation.

“But more than that, there’s nothing to say at the moment. Yeah, nothing more than that. The shortlist is two drivers, simple as that, of which I think we’ve been very open on discussing who’s very much at the top of our list. But it’s now determining what we can do to find a match with, in this circumstance, Carlos, who I think is an incredible driver, he’s a race-winning driver – he’s 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. It’s been highlighted that there’s one or two options for him and we’re very much one of those two. I personally think we’re the right option – it’s a good match made together, but the choice remains, of course, his,” summed up Vowles.

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