Toto Wolff names Sainz as Mercedes candidate

  • 12 Apr 2018 11:32
  • comments 12
  • By: Rob Veenstra

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)

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  • 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

    • + 0
    • Apr 12 2018 - 11:45
  • denis1304

    Posts: 224

    if Wolff wants Hamilton to flinch, he need to say Alonso is candidate for Mercedes drive not Sainz

    • + 0
    • Apr 12 2018 - 11:56
    • mcbhargav

      Posts: 886

      Alonso has an escape clause from Mclaren?

      • + 0
      • Apr 12 2018 - 13:38
    • mbmwe36

      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.

      • + 0
      • Apr 12 2018 - 14:27
    • I'd love to see Alonso at Mercedes

      • + 0
      • Apr 12 2018 - 15:49
    • 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.

      • + 0
      • Apr 12 2018 - 17:57
  • 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.

    • + 0
    • Apr 12 2018 - 16:18
    • 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).

      • + 1
      • Apr 12 2018 - 17:58
    • 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.

      • + 0
      • Apr 12 2018 - 18:03
    • 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.

      • + 0
      • Apr 12 2018 - 18:11
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,066

      I think the deal is already done. Honda with RBR in 2019.They will wait as long as possible to let Renault know.

      • + 0
      • Apr 13 2018 - 14:48
    • 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.

      • + 0
      • Apr 13 2018 - 19:22

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