Toto Wolff names Sainz as Mercedes candidate

Published on 12 Apr 2018 11:32

Toto Wolff has named more candidates as speculation about the Mercedes driver lineup of the future ramps up. Currently, both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas' contracts expire at the end of the season.

Mercedes wants Hamilton to stay, but the British driver appears to be playing hardball with conditions including contract length and price. Daniel Ricciardo has been linked with the seat, but more names are now emerging -- including Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon and Renault driver Carlos Sainz.

"We want Hamilton to stay with us until 2030," team boss Wolff is quoted by El Mundo Deportivo. "But in formula one everything is possible and I don't think you'd find a single driver who doesn't want to become champion with Ferrari. But for now Lewis is with us and I hope at least until 2020," he added.

Wolff referred to Mercedes junior Ocon, who currently drives for Force India, as his "little treasure". "I've known him for a long time and his progress from year to year is very visible," he said.

"Another excellent driver is Carlos Sainz Jr, and if he shows up well next to Nico Hulkenberg then all of the teams will be interested in him," Wolff added. "We wanted to see Carlos with us and I even met with his father, but they are in the Red Bull programme," he said. "But we maintain excellent relations." (GMM)

Replies (12)
US renaultFanF1 12 Apr 2018 11:450
Posts: 80
I doubt they can bring in Sainz. He'll most likely be returning to RB if Ricciardo gets a seat in Ferrari. This is just about putting some pressure on Hamilton, since he's obviously asking too much. When Ocon comes to Mercedes, Bottas will go
NL denis1304 12 Apr 2018 11:560
Posts: 218
if Wolff wants Hamilton to flinch, he need to say Alonso is candidate for Mercedes drive not Sainz
US mcbhargav 12 Apr 2018 13:380
Posts: 790
Alonso has an escape clause from Mclaren?
Posts: 533
I'd think he has plenty of outs. McLaren bent over backwards to appease him, and he'd be stupid not to have taken full advantage of that.
US ajpennypacker 12 Apr 2018 15:490
Posts: 1507
I'd love to see Alonso at Mercedes
SE calle.itw 12 Apr 2018 17:570
Posts: 5882
Im pretty sure he does, Alonso is very keen on having those, apparently. And rightly so. I dont like Red Bull's practice of locking up their drivers, even if I understand why they wanna.
NL KyalamiKid 12 Apr 2018 16:180
Posts: 146
Sainz better make sure he gets the better of Hulk, otherwise Gasly will be taking Ricciardo's seat when vacant.
Ocon is the future for Mercedes in my opinion.
SE calle.itw 12 Apr 2018 17:58+1
Posts: 5882
Agreed. Though Im not sure Sainz wanna leave Renault. Its a works team after all (although for all we know, RB might be one next year).
US ajpennypacker 12 Apr 2018 18:030
Posts: 1507
I agree. If anything Sainz may have found himself in a better long term position than Red Bull, particularly as Red Bull seems strongly inclined to bet on Honda.
SE calle.itw 12 Apr 2018 18:110
Posts: 5882
Alot depends on whether RBR steals their little sister's toy engine supplier. I suspect Ricciardo's move will be impacted by that, how Honda improves this year and so on, and that in return will affect whether there is a vacant seat or not. And then Sainz may or may not get it, or Gasly may or may not get it instead of Sainz. Could be a fun silly season this year.
Posts: 994
I think the deal is already done. Honda with RBR in 2019.They will wait as long as possible to let Renault know.
NL KyalamiKid 13 Apr 2018 19:220
Posts: 146
If that is the case Boudy, I really wonder what carrot they held in front of Verstappen to convince him to sign his extension... Honda wasnt particularly looking good at that point.

        Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
Local time
Give your opinion!
Which rookie do you think will impress the most in 2019?

Driver profile
Name ES Carlos Sainz jr
Active As McLaren Driver in Formula 1
Date of birth Sep 1 1994 (24)
Weight 66 kg
Length 1.78m
City Madrid
17,150 comments on Sainz jr
2 members have this driver as their favourite
Tweets about Carlos Sainz jr
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Location AE Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Website Website
Team profile
Name DE Mercedes
Founding date Jan 1 1930
361,572 comments on Mercedes
39 members have this team as their favourite
Location Stuttgart
Tweets about Mercedes
Formula 1 Calendar
Previous Grand Prix: 25 November 2018
AE Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi