“Any team would be privileged to have Sainz” — James Vowles hopeful the Spaniard will join Williams F1 next year

Photo Credit: Williams Racing
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Carlos Sainz is undoubtedly the hottest topic on the Formula 1 drivers’ market since it was announced that Lewis Hamilton is taking his seat at Ferrari next year. However, the options he seemed to have at the start of the season are slowly slipping through his fingers, with Sergio Perez securing a two-year contract extension at Red Bull, and many discussions of Andrea Kimi Antonelli and Max Verstappen being preferred by Mercedes.

Now, the Spaniard is said to be deciding between Williams and Sauber, which will of course transition into Audi in 2026. Even though he denied the false stories of already signing with Williams teams ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, the other side is not hiding their interest in the race-winning driver.

When asked about the situation, Williams’ team principal James Vowles commented: “Well, first and foremost, I think Carlos is an exceptional driver. 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.”

Firm on not confirming anything and avoiding the question of when we can expect some announcement by saying that “definitely, 100% by December, I’ll be able to tell you”, Vowles joked.

“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,” he admitted in the press conference, clearly referring to the Spanish driver. Valtteri Bottas is next in the queue should Sainz choose Sauber/Audi.

With Williams aiming for future success and development, playing the long game with Alex Albon who is now signed into the new era of regulations coming in 2026, Vowles thinks it’s “the right option” for Sainz who is known to be a very rational driver whose point of view can be a big asset to the team.

“It’s a good match made together, but the choice remains, of course, his,” the Williams boss insisted. For him, someone who can clearly see and communicate opportunities or problems within the car and the team “sounds excellent, doesn’t it?”.

So, even if it’s becoming more and more likely Sainz won’t drive for one of them top teams like Red Bull, Ferrari, or McLaren who have their line-ups complete already, he can be sure that he still has a few options.

And with Vowels’ compelling words of their potential harmony and great opportunities, it’s very much possible we’ll see Sainz in a white and blue racing suit next year.