Mercedes have reportedly told Carlos Sainz that he will not become their replacement for Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton’s move to Ferrari in 2025 has opened a coveted seat on the F1 grid, and Sainz is an obvious option.

Ferrari’s Sainz has lost his drive to Hamilton so has held talks with several teams, including Mercedes.

But Mercedes informed Sainz at Imola, two weeks ago, that they will not make him an offer to replace Hamilton, according to Gazzetta.

The Italian newspaper insists that Mercedes are intent on putting Andrea Kimi Antonelli into their car.

Antonelli, still just 17, is an Italian driver who is in his rookie Formula 2 season.

But he has twice tested Mercedes F1 cars in recent weeks in a clear sign that Toto Wolff wanted to see how he coped.

Buoyed by what he saw on those test days, Wolff now plans to make the teenage Antonelli his new driver next year, the report states.

Wolff admitted last week in Monaco that, although Sainz is clearly a respected candidate, he was looking elsewhere.

The Mercedes boss hinted that he was willing to lose Sainz to a rival F1 team if it allowed him more time to build up Antonelli.

It has been reported that Wolff does not want to lose Antonelli, in the way that he lost a young Max Verstappen to Red Bull.

Hamilton himself backed Antonelli for the ‘25 drive, and told Mercedes to give him the car.

The bold decision to place their faith in the prodigious talent means that the experienced and successful Sainz must look elsewhere for his next step.