Race Weekend Central

The Pit Straight: Is Carlos Sainz a Number 1 Driver?

Fresh off the severing of Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s respective win streaks in Singapore, The Pit Straight co-hosts Jack Swansey and Alex Gintz turn their sights to the first non-Red Bull-affiliated winner of the 2023 Formula 1 season: Carlos Sainz.

Sainz has emerged as the de facto lead driver at Ferrari, overall outperforming his teammate Charles Leclerc since joining the Scuderia in 2021. As Sainz has recently been subject to speculation surrounding a possible contract between himself and the forthcoming Audi team, set to debut in 2026, the question of what a Sainz-Audi pairing could look like has to be asked. Likewise, the duo examine Sainz’s career since premiering on the F1 stage in 2015 with what was then Toro Rosso.

Lastly, what would this Sainz-Audi pairing mean for the Spaniard’s career trajectory? At 29-years-old, is it time for Sainz to turn his focus toward building up a new team, or to dig in his heels and continue working to save Ferrari from itself?

See also
The Pit Straight: Reflections on the 2023 IndyCar Season

The Pit Straight is Frontstretch‘s F1 podcast, available weekly on Tuesdays on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and right here on the web.

About the author

Alex is the IndyCar Content Director at Frontstretch, having initially joined as an entry-level contributor in 2021. He also serves as Managing Director of The Asia Cable, a publication focused on the international affairs and politics of the Asia-Pacific region which he co-founded in 2023. With previous experience in China, Japan and Poland, Alex is particularly passionate about the international realm of motorsport and the politics that make the wheels turn - literally - behind the scenes.

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