Two ex-F1 drivers tip Sainz to secure 2025 seat

Thu, 22 February 2024, 09:00

Feb.22 (GMM) Carlos Sainz insists he has “no idea” what team he will be racing for beyond the looming Formula 1 season.

The Spaniard had headed into the winter break insisting that he wants his future to be decided before the first race of 2024. Instead, he only learned that Lewis Hamilton will be replacing him at Ferrari for 2025.

“Funnily enough, my future was decided before the first race and it is that I am not going to continue at Ferrari,” the 29-year-old smiled in Bahrain.

“As I’ve said before, it happened in an unexpected way. I was looking forward to signing a contract with them, everything seemed on track for that, everything was going in that direction. In the end it didn’t happen, as you know.”

He has been linked with a move to Sauber in advance of the works Audi project for 2026, but interestingly his famous father, rally legend Carlos Sainz, was spotted in conversation with Red Bull’s Christian Horner, Dr Helmut Marko and Adrian Newey in Bahrain on Wednesday.

“I am free for 2025,” Sainz revealed, “and I have no idea yet who I will race with. I have to take my time to decide, see all the options available and try to choose the best one for me, not only for 2025, but also for the next three or four years.

“I have to do my best to join a winning project in Formula 1 and see who gives me the best chance. But I guess all the drivers whose contracts expire are looking at all the options as well and talking with the teams.

“At the moment winter testing is my priority, it only lasts three days and these are the only days we have. So if your mind is elsewhere, you are wasting time. We will still have time to sit down and decide,” he added.

As for the earliest signs of the F1 pecking-order for 2024, every team appeared to be a long way behind the new-concept Red Bull on the opening day.

“Let’s hope that for F1 and for Ferrari, there are more victories like mine in Singapore this year, more battle with Max (Verstappen). If not, 24 races is a lot,” he smiled.

When asked about Sainz’s future beyond 2024, fellow Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa thinks he will have “no problems continuing in F1” after this year.

“I’m sure he will handle this year well as he has been in more complicated situations in the past and he continues to grow,” the Aston Martin ambassador and former F1 driver told Marca.

“A driver like him will have no problems continuing in F1.”

Former Red Bull driver Christian Klien agrees, telling Speed Week: “Carlos is a very good driver and he will explore his options. He will definitely get good offers.”

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