No room at Mercedes for Carlos Sainz – Wolff

Sun, 9 June 2024, 10:01

Jun.9 (GMM) Toto Wolff has bad news for Carlos Sainz – he’s not in the running to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next year.

In the strongest indication yet that the team’s 2025 lineup is all but signed and sealed, team co-owner and boss Wolff declared in Montreal: “We intend to focus on young drivers.

“We explained that to Carlos. We want to focus exclusively on Kimi Antonelli because our future depends on young people like him,” Wolff added, ending speculation that Ferrari refugee Sainz might be an option.

However, while George Russell is already set in stone for 2025, Wolff said an actual deal with the Briton’s next teammate is yet to be made official.

“We haven’t made a decision yet,” Wolff told Sky Deutschland at the Canadian GP. “There are others that could also be of interest to us.”

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve thinks former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas could be an option for a single-year contract in 2025 – before the currently 17-year-old Antonelli joins a year later.

“They need a driver for one season,” Villeneuve said. “Someone who would agree to such a contract and who knows the team well.

“I think it could be Bottas.”

Meanwhile, Wolff rubbished reports that at a recent shootout test involving Antonelli, the fresh-faced Italian was a lot faster than Mick Schumacher and even ahead of Russell.

“This is total nonsense,” Wolff insisted. “All three had different programs, all three were very fast, but George was much faster than the other two because that’s how it works.”

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