Vowles says Sainz is on top of Williams' list for 2025 as McLaren's Stella also praises the Spaniard

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Williams team boss James Vowles has offered an update on the possible candidates who can secure the Grove-based outfit's second seat for the 2025 F1 season.

Williams have already announced that Alexander Albon will remain with the Grove-based outfit for the following two years. However, there is still uncertainty revolving around the person who will partner the Thai driver from next year.

Currently, Logan Sargeant drives for Williams with the American having made his F1 debut with the British outfit last year. While the 2023 F1 season saw Sargeant make a series of driving errors, he has managed to raise his game in his second season.

Despite displaying an improved performance, the Miami-born driver's future is far from secure. Team boss James Vowles confirmed in Montreal that his list for the second Williams seat includes two drivers, suggesting that outgoing Ferrari driver Calos Sainz is on top of this list.

"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.

"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."

Speaking of Sargeant's current form, Vowles said: "I think there's no doubt, actually very similar to Oscar, second year of running, and you are now seeing the confidence start to build as a result of it, and there is performance there.

"We also haven't had the cars in the same spec for a period of time. Some of that's still due to the earlier damage that we're building up to, some of that is because we pulled forward upgrades, and there was simply not enough to put across two cars.

"He is continuously evolving as an individual, as I hope he would be in that circumstance. Is he where I need him to be target-wise? And that's the big question of things. We need more from him, really, to be able to save his seat in that sort of circumstance."

McLaren's team boss Andrea Stella echoed Vowles' words, claiming that Sainz is a big asset for any teams given his qualities and approach to racing.

"Carlos is an interesting driver, I have to say, not only for the qualities that James reminded and that led him to be a race winner, but in particular, I would highlight that he is very rational.

"He needs to create a plan in his head around what is the fastest way in a lap, what is the fastest way of racing. He adds a lot of rationality to his instinct. And the importance is that when you have this rational elaboration, it's also easy to communicate. And then it becomes a big asset for the team because what he's processing, what he's seeing as an opportunity or what he's seeing as a problem, it becomes very clear for the team.

"It’s very well communicated and we can do something about it. So I think for us has been definitely one of the leading variable in the development of the team because of these characteristics," added Stella.