May 22 - The F1 driver market 'silly season' is still in full swing even in the few days between Imola and Monaco.

Corriere dello Sport in Italy reports that Carlos Sainz may now have said 'yes' to Audi-owned Sauber for 2025 and beyond - turning down offers from Alpine and Williams.

And over at Red Bull, Sergio Pérez has been offered a one-year contract extension for 2025, according to Fox Mexico. The 34-year-old reportedly responded that he wants at least a two-year deal.

Also still in contention for at least a short-term deal at Red Bull Racing next year, perhaps preceding a 2026 move with Honda to Aston Martin, is Yuki Tsunoda.

"Sergio didn't do as well in Imola as he did previously," Red Bull consultant Dr Helmut Marko said in his latest column for Speed Week.

"However, Yuki Tsunoda's performance at the Racing Bulls' home race in Imola was impressive," Marko added. "This was part of a series of excellent performances from Yuki, with the exception of China.

"He makes almost no mistakes anymore, he is focused, he works well with the engineers. It took some time, but now he is putting his talent and speed to good use," Marko said.

Ferrari refugee and Spaniard Sainz, 29, had also been in theoretical contention for a move to Red Bull, with a one-year deal at Mercedes perhaps also on the table.

"Carlos has earned his place in Formula 1," Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said. "He has a wealth of experience.

"But I think we need to take our time with the decision and see how the situation develops in the summer and autumn."

It's rumoured that Mercedes is much more likely to put rookie Kimi Antonelli next to George Russell next year - perhaps after the 17-year-old Italian makes his Formula 1 debut in Logan Sargeant's place at Williams later this season.

"I think we should let him (Antonelli) do his job in Formula 2, let him show what he can do, and we shouldn't worry too much about what could or should be," Wolff said when asked about his Italian protege.

Antonelli can probably only secure his mandatory FIA super license in time for Monza - by which time he will have turned 18.

He may then have several lower-pressure races in 2024 to adjust to Formula 1 with Williams - before making the leap to the Mercedes works team.

Valtteri Bottas could then be the struggling Sargeant's longer-term replacement at Williams beginning in 2025.

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One F1 fan comment on “Red Bull Racing Faces Tough Decisions Amid F1 'Silly Season'

  1. Jere Jyrälä

    I'm sure Checo is safe as long as he doesn't actually cost the team the constructors' championship, albeit still speculating about Antonelli racing in F1 this season is pointless as Toto & James (even more relevantly in this case) have already made clear this isn't going to happen in any case.
    However, Bottas replacing Sargeant from next season onwards is indeed plausible..
    Lastly, can only rather than can 'probably' only because minimum age requirement isn't up for dispensation or discussion anyway.


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