Sainz-to-Audi speculation re-emerges after Hungary

Carlos Sainz’s future at Ferrari is in question, as former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher suggests.

After the Hungarian Grand Prix, team principal Frederic Vasseur acknowledged that the Maranello-based team has been plagued by “too many mistakes.”

“I spent the last 35 years of my life on the pitwall, and every Monday, I study the mistakes I made,” Vasseur stated in an interview with Sky Italia.

“But I think if you ask the same question to Toto Wolf, he will answer the same way.”

Carlos Sainz faced allegations in Budapest that Ferrari once again favored his teammate Charles Leclerc in the race strategy.

“I suppose it was to compensate for his bad stop,” said the Spaniard.

“I believe people are seeing it as a conspiracy, but it’s not the case. He had a slow stop, and they wanted to make up for it.”

Schumacher, however, blames Leclerc for exacerbating his situation by speeding in the pitlane.

“These are things we keep seeing with Leclerc now,” he shared with Sky Deutschland.

Conversely, Sainz has been openly expressing his eagerness to initiate contract negotiations with Ferrari for a period extending beyond 2024.

“You get the feeling he has lost confidence in the team,” Schumacher remarked. “I hear rumors that his father is in the paddock looking for an alternative.

“Ferrari is facing quite a disaster at the moment.”

Sainz, aged 28, has been linked to a potential move to the steadily Audi-owned Sauber team before its full takeover in 2026.

“Carlos Sainz senior is closely connected to the Volkswagen Group through his rallying,” Schumacher explained. “Audi will need a driver with Formula 1 experience by 2026.

“At the same time, Carlos is not making a great impression. He can drive, but he also makes too many mistakes. His performances are quite inconsistent.

“That’s not a favorable business card for his future.”

Meanwhile, some are suggesting that Leclerc’s patience with Ferrari is wearing thin, especially given the tone of some of his recent radio messages.

Leclerc, like Sainz, is under contract until the end of 2024. He implied that Ferrari had “different expectations” for the race in Hungary due to team “simulations.”

When asked if he’s demoralized, Leclerc firmly stated, “Zero. I am 200 percent motivated, and I will give everything until the last race.”

However, Sainz believes that Ferrari has a considerable amount of work ahead in the coming weeks and months.

“We need to be cautious as our rivals are making significant developments. McLaren and Mercedes had better race pace than us,” he acknowledged at the Hungaroring.

“Although we are developing the car, there are some shortcomings that we cannot address at the moment.”