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Formula One

Hamilton to Ferrari: what next for Carlos Sainz?

Sainz Jr will lose his seat at Ferrari when Lewis joins in 2025, so where should the Spaniard be looking to move?

Carlos Sainz Jr
  • Carlos Sainz Jr

    “Following today’s news, Scuderia Ferrari and myself will part ways at the end of 2024,” said Carlos Sainz in a statement as the news of Lewis Hamilton’s shock move to Ferrari broke on Thursday.

    The Spaniard, who has been at Ferrari since the 2021 season and was the only man to win a race while not driving a Red Bull last year, took to Twitter/X/whatever Elon is calling it this week to explain he would announce news about his future “in due course”.

    Clearly, Carlos Sainz and his manager - who happens to be his uncle and is also called Carlos Sainz - have some negotiations to be getting on with. Perhaps they’ll also call upon the help of Carlos’ father, Carlos Sainz Sr, now that he’s finished winning the Dakar?

    Anyway, enough silliness. Sainz Jr will turn 30 later this year, so let’s take a look at some of his potential options for 2025 and beyond… 

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  • Mercedes

    Mercedes F1

    Has anyone mentioned there’s a seat going at Mercedes in 2025? Apparently the bloke who’s vacating it was rather handy though, so we’re told they’re some rather large racing booties to fill. Still, Sainz would certainly be a safe pair of hands at Mercedes, and he now has two race wins and five pole positions under his belt, so he knows what it takes to be at the pointy end of the grid.

  • Red Bull

    Red Bull

    Sainz became a member of the Red Bull junior driver setup in 2010 and started his F1 career at Toro Rosso (feels like decades ago, doesn’t it), so could a heart-warming reunion be on the cards? Well, we know Sergio Perez is struggling and his contract expires at the end of 2024, but it’d be fair to say Sainz and Max Verstappen weren’t exactly best of friends when teammates in 2015 and early on in the 2016 season.

    Still, almost a decade has passed since then and some would argue that the pair of them have matured…

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  • Aston Martin

    Aston Martin

    Fernando Alonso will be 43 years old when Sainz eventually steps out of his scarlet overalls, so it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Carlos replace his fellow countryman and idol at Aston Martin. However, rumours suggest Aston is keen to keep hold of Alonso beyond the end of the 2024 season, so team owner Lawrence Stroll may finally have to have that difficult conversation with Lance. Anyone know any experts in family law?

  • Audi

    Audi

    Given Sainz Sr’s recent links to Audi and his sandy success in the RS Q e-tron hybrid range-extender thingy, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see Sainz Jr join the German brand in F1. Audi doesn’t officially enter the sport until the 2026 season though, so that would either mean Sainz would have to spend 2025 receiving Australian online gambling money from the ludicrously named Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber, or he could spend 12 months working on that golf swing. 

  • Dakar Rally

    Dakar Rally

    If Carlos does fancy a gap yah and a bit of travelling, he could always take up the role of co-driver for his father in January 2025. Sainz Sr is now a four-time Dakar Rally champion, but Audi’s involvement in the cross-country rally has ended and, if he’s keen to carry on, he’ll need a new seat for next year. 

  • WRC

    WRC

    But what if Sainz Jr’s plan wasn’t to join his father, but beat him at his own game? Well, the smooth operator himself would need three World Rally Championships to outscore his old man, so he best get practising in his spare time. Here’s hoping he’s saved up some of his allotted annual leave in the past couple of years at Ferrari.

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