‘Hard to understand’ Sainz decision delay – Zhou

Sat, 6 July 2024, 10:01

Jul.6 (GMM) Guanyu Zhou admits he is becoming frustrated about Carlos Sainz’s indecision, delays and missed deadlines over his next career move in Formula 1.

Audi-owned Sauber and Williams have offered Spaniard Sainz, who must leave Ferrari at the end of the season, long-term deals for 2025 and beyond.

Not just that, Alpine team advisor Flavio Briatore says Sainz has a “draft contract” in his pocket that is ready to be signed, while Toto Wolff says he could have a seat to offer the 29-year-old driver if he can wait as long as November.

Haas’ Kevin Magnussen recently described Sainz as the “cork in the bottle” of the 2025 driver market, while current Sauber driver Guanyu Zhou is beginning to lose his patience amid the long wait.

“It’s hard to understand,” Zhou said at Silverstone, according to the Dutch publication Formule 1.

“How hard can the decision be now?” the Chinese driver added. “It’s not like he can choose teams that are fighting for the title anymore – only the midfield teams are left.

“I don’t know what he’s thinking, but all we can do is keep waiting for him, nothing more.”

Zhou insists he wants to stay at Sauber, and his millions in Chinese backing – believed to be up to $35 million a year – may also be interesting to other teams.

But he might actually be left with little more than offers from the world of Formula E, with the newly Liberty Media-owned electric series’ CEO Jeff Dodds admitting this week he would “love nothing more” than to welcome a Chinese driver.

Zhou admits he did “not expect” to have to wait so long for Sainz’s decision.

“He is holding up all the other drivers,” he charged at Silverstone. “But I don’t think the teams have that much patience. They will certainly set deadlines.

“It’s strange to experience it this way,” Zhou added, “also because it’s the first time for me. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about it. We have to wait.”

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