Ferrari F1 Lame Duck Carlos Sainz Jr. Sees 'Plenty of Options' Following Lewis Hamilton News (2024)

  • Carlos Sainz Jr. says that while he had a slight heads-up on the news the Lewis Hamilton would be replacing him at Ferrari after 2024, the development was “a bit of a surprise”
  • Sainz, who has two wins with Ferrari, believes his contribution to Ferrari's recent results will aid talks elsewhere for 2025.
  • Sainz adds he will not rush into any decision about his future.

Carlos Sainz is in the unusual situation of preparing for a Formula 1 season with the fabled Ferrari team, while knowing he is out of the door come December.

Ferrari launched its 2024 car, the SF-24, on Tuesday, with both Sainz and Charles Leclerc putting the first miles on it at Fiorano, Italy, as part of a filming day.

It will be the last scarlet machine for Sainz as winter rumors of a contract extension were quashed when Lewis Hamilton pulled a surprise by signing a multi-year deal from 2025.

Sainz conceded that while he had a slight heads-up on the news, the development was “a bit of a surprise” but had now had “a bit of time to digest it,” ahead of the 2024 season.

Sainz, who has taken both of his career wins with Ferrari, believes his contribution to its recent results will aid talks elsewhere for 2025.

Ferrari F1 Lame Duck Carlos Sainz Jr. Sees 'Plenty of Options' Following Lewis Hamilton News (1)

Carlos Sainz Jr. finished seventh in the F1 Constrctors’ Championship last season.

“I think once you’re a Ferrari driver you can go to every team from now on having been at Ferrari and having been a Ferrari driver—I think it does good for any driver on the grid,” he said. “On top of that if you add the fact that I’ve won races for Ferrari, I’ve made pole positions, I’ve got podiums, I think I have helped this team to move forward up the grid and to be a better team, then my overall feeling of these four years is definitely positive. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me as I’m sure there’s going to be good things coming”

Sainz was the only non-Red Bull driver to win a F1 race in 2023, emerging victorious in Singapore, and he was keen to stress that “the hunger to win races, and become champions, doesn’t change just because of what’s happening in 2025—the fact that I’m not going to be a Ferrari driver in 2025 doesn’t mean that we don’t want to become champions together this year or win races this year.”

Sainz had wanted his future resolved prior to the start of the 2024 season, but that was before the Hamilton development, and he says he will not rush into any call.

“I hope [2024] is not my last chance to go for a title, and obviously with so many options open for 2025 in the market I will also look for the most interesting ones in that sense. Probably my most important three or four years of my career [are coming up], where I want to make sure I’m in the right place at the right time, I want to make sure I pick the right next destination for me so I want to take my time to think about it, to listen to all the options, have a look at all the options.”

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur said notifying Sainz of his exit “was one of the most difficult calls,” but reiterated that both parties are fully committed to each other “until the final corner of the final race.”

Vasseur labelled Ferrari’s signing of Hamilton for 2025 as “a huge opportunity” before adding the news was announced early to avoid any distractions for 2024. Consequently, Vasseur and Ferrari were keen to swiftly move the topic onto this upcoming year, his second at the helm of the famous red team.

Ferrari slipped to third in 2023, despite its status as the interloper among Red Bull’s victory spree, but finished the campaign in a significantly stronger state than the first half of the year. Continuing that momentum in early 2024 is therefore crucial.

“Only Bahrain will let us know (on the progress) because it’s not a matter to be happy with the development you made,” he said. “At the end of the day it’s a comparison: you can gain two seconds but if the others are doing three, you look stupid, and if they are doing one, you are the best of the world.

"At the end of the day, the judgement will be based on comparison. Now what is true, on our side, is it’s not just about performance, it’s about driveability, at least on the simulator so far we fixed the biggest part of the issue that we had and we will see in Bahrain if we fixed everything or not. Now will be the question about pure performance, it will be another story, but we identified last year the biggest weaknesses and we work on it and we did a step on this.”

Charles Leclerc noted that even after three laps at Fiorano on Tuesday he felt the car “as healthier and in a better place” compared to the starting point of its predecessor. That car spent much of last year as peaky, with a very narrow operating window, and was prone to wild performance fluctuations if even wind or surface conditions slightly changed.

“I think 2023, as much as it was a disappointing season as a whole, because we weren’t fighting for the positions we wanted to fight, I think it’s been a very good reaction from the team since the first race, when it was a disappointing result,” said Leclerc.

Ferrari F1 Lame Duck Carlos Sainz Jr. Sees 'Plenty of Options' Following Lewis Hamilton News (2)

Carlos Sainz has two F1 wins in has career, both with Ferrari.

“I remember very clearly the moment we tested our particular [new parts] in Zandvoort, in free practice and we came back from Zandvoort and we all sat down and we had very clear results in front of our eyes and I think that gave a huge motivation to the team because we were like, okay, now we understand what are the weak points of the car, where we need to work, which direction we need to take, and from that point onwards everyone has been fully onboard with the directions taking and everything makes sense.

"And after three to four races we brought the new floor in Japan and straight away it was a step forward in terms of sensitivities with the wind, but also the front [of the car], I speak very often about wanting a strong front and that was a step forward as well, and I really hope this car can follow up the momentum that we’ve had since the second part of last year.”

Sainz declared that “obviously Red Bull and Verstappen are clear favorites for this year’s title, because of the advantage they have this year, and potentially how early they could start developing the 2024 car. But Ferrari finished in a strong way last season. We had a strong end to the season, so obviously we’re feeling confident too and we want to start the year how we ended last year, in a good progression.”

McLaren and Mercedes will continue launch season on Wednesday with the presentations of the MCL38 and W15 respectively.

Ferrari F1 Lame Duck Carlos Sainz Jr. Sees 'Plenty of Options' Following Lewis Hamilton News (2024)


Why did Ferrari choose Carlos Sainz? ›

Ferrari have long admired Sainz, son of two-time world rally champion Carlos Sr. The same can be said for a handful of other drivers on the grid, but with the Spaniard, they felt he was the right package that could slot into their team.

What team will Carlos Sainz drive for in 2024? ›


Where will Sainz go in 2025? ›

Mercedes and Red Bull still only have one driver contracted for 2025 and remain possible destinations for Sainz, while the 29-year-old has also been linked to Sauber, which is due to receive significant investment over coming years as German car manufacturer Audi takes ownership of the team and uses it to enter F1 in ...

Who's leaving Ferrari in 2025? ›

Charles Leclerc has opened up on his relationship with teammate Carlos Sainz, who will leave Ferrari after the 2024 season.

Why did Ferrari ignore Sainz? ›

Ultimately, Ferrari knows that Sainz represents the best possible choice for the 2025/26 two-year period, and he knows equally well that remaining two more years at the Prancing Horse is the best option for his career. But as talks drag on, getting a deal across the line could require compromises from both parties.

Why is Lewis Hamilton leaving? ›

Despite having signed a two-year deal with Mercedes, which was expected to keep him at the team until the end of the 2025 season, Hamilton's decision to leave early highlights just how unhappy he was with the results of the 2022 and 2023 season.

Where is Daniel Ricciardo going in 2024? ›

Ricciardo is racing for Visa Cash App RB F1 Team in 2024. Rolls right off the tongue, right? He technically joined the team – formerly named AlphaTauri – last year when he replaced Nyck de Vries midway through the season.

Who is most likely to replace Lewis Hamilton? ›

6 drivers that could replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2025
  • Fernando Alonso. ...
  • Max Verstappen. ...
  • Mick Schumacher. ...
  • Carlos Sainz Jr. ...
  • Federik Vesti. ...
  • Andrea Kimi Antonelli. ...
  • Esteban Ocon. ...
  • Alex Albon. A driver that every top team will be monitoring incredibly closely is Alex Albon.
Apr 4, 2024

Who is replacing Carlos Sainz? ›

Ferrari have confirmed that Oliver Bearman will be stepping in to replace Carlos Sainz for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Why did Sainz choose 55? ›

When Carlos Sainz began his Formula One career, he originally wanted the driver number 5. However, this was already taken so he decided to go with the next best thing, number 55. Sainz also mentioned that the first 5 stands for the 's' in his first name, and the second 5 stands for the 's' in his surname.

What team is Audi replacing in F1? ›

Audi will complete its 100% takeover of the Sauber F1 Team before the 2026 F1 season. This process will continue to happen gradually as to not interrupt Sauber's day-to-day runnings as a current F1 constructor, and Audi will continue to have no input into sponsor choices or driver decisions.

Who will drive for Mercedes in 2025? ›

Mercedes. At the same time, Mercedes confirmed George Russell would remain as Hamilton's team-mate until the end of 2025. Having previously confirmed to earlier in 2023 he would remain a long-term part of the Mercedes structure, they confirmed that his deal would run until the 2025 campaign.

Why did Lamborghini leave Ferrari? ›

The story is that Ferruccio Lamborghini, a successful tractor manufacturer and a Ferrari owner, was not satisfied with his Ferrari and walked up to Enzo Ferrari with suggestions to improve the car. The discussion was short and unpleasant, driving Ferruccio furious enough to start his own car manufacturing.

Who is the heir to Ferrari? ›

The move outlines plans for succession in relation to the group's shareholding structure. Piero Ferrari's daughter Antonella and his grandsons Enzo Mattioli Ferrari and Piero Galassi Ferrari have been appointed as the trust beneficiaries, the filing published late on Monday showed.

Will Hamilton ever go to Ferrari? ›

Hamilton had signed a new deal with his current team in the summer of 2023, which would keep him at the squad through to the end of 2025. However, activating a release option in his contract allowed Hamilton to put pen to paper with Ferrari, who he will join next season after his final campaign with Mercedes in 2024.

How did Carlos Sainz get into F1? ›

Sainz had begun karting at the age of seven and by 2010 Red Bull had got interested and brought him onto their Junior Team. His first season of car racing was in Formula BMW, and he placed a strong fourth (and top rookie) in the F1-supporting European series.

When did Sainz join Ferrari? ›

Sainz moved to Ferrari at the end of the 2020 season.

When did Carlos Sainz start driving for Ferrari? ›

He later moved to McLaren in 2019, and then Ferrari in 2021. Sainz and Verstappen are the first two drivers to race in F1 who were born after the death of Ayrton Senna.

Who is Ferrari getting rid of for Hamilton? ›

Carlos Sainz has addressed his departure from Ferrari with a determination to finish his tenure on a positive note, amidst the news of Lewis Hamilton replacing him from the end of 2024.

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