Windsor with striking advice for Sainz: ‘He can really build something there’

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Windsor with striking advice for Sainz: 'He can really build something there'

Carlos Sainz is the man of the moment, after his victory in Australia. The Spaniard received bad news in February, when Lewis Hamilton was announced as the new Ferrari driver for 2025. A month later, Sainz also suffered appendicitis, but he struck with a victory in Australia. Sainz’s future is still completely open, and Windsor advises him in an exclusive interview with F1Maximaal to opt for the long term.

Frédéric Vasseur started last season as Ferrari’s new team boss, which has since made fewer strategic mistakes and has managed to maximize opportunities more often. The starting point for the 2024 season is also clearly better than in 2023, when a weak start to the season ultimately cost the team second place among the constructors.

Vasseur persuaded Hamilton

Windsor is positive about how Vasseur is doing. “He does a very good job, and I think he will also do very well with Lewis (Hamilton, ed.) and Charles (Leclerc, ed.),” Windsor looks ahead to 2025. “That will not be an easy driver combination to manage, but I think he will do a good job. I also have the feeling that Vasseur is now really starting to give space and confidence to the right people in the technical team at Ferrari. He doesn’t fall for that trap just to attract some well-known designers or engineers. He ensures that good people stay on, with long-term contracts.’

Vasseur’s contacts with various drivers in particular are doing him no harm. ‘I think he’s doing great now and I’m convinced he’s one of the reasons why Lewis decided to go there. Of course he already knows him, because they worked together in Formula 3 and Formula 3 at ASM and then ART Grand Prix.’ Vasseur also knew Leclerc from before Formula 1.

What should Sainz do?

There is no longer room for Sainz at Ferrari in 2025, but otherwise Sainz seems to be on many shopping lists. Red Bull Racing, Mercedes, Aston Martin, and Audi will all be interested in the 29-year-old’s services. “I would advise him to go to Audi, because there he will have the opportunity to build something together with the team,” is Windsor’s striking advice. “It’s a great car manufacturer, and who knows what the 2026 season will be like, with fifty percent electrification.”

Windsor mainly gives this advice with the advice to make a choice for the longer term. ‘Yes, 2025 will be a painful story, but he will already get to know the team and the people and can have a fresh start.’ He understands that the Spaniard can be tempted by an offer from the top teams. “If he gets a really good offer from Red Bull or Mercedes, he will go, but the problem is that he will be put in the car next to either George Russell or Max Verstappen. He may be peaking now, but that is a lot of pressure for Carlos Sainz, because if he is blown away by Verstappen or Russell, his career could also go downhill quickly.’

While an adventure at Red Bull, alongside Verstappen, or Mercedes, with Andrea Kimi Antonelli in the pipeline, could be short-lived, this would not be the case at Audi, Windsor believes. “As Sainz’s manager, I would therefore look at whether he can get a long-term deal with Audi that extends beyond his racing career. Then he can become an Audi ambassador for the next fifty years, and make his home there. He can then grow with the team, and there will be no pressure on him.’

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