Talks with Ferrari were going on the “right path” for a new contract before Hamilton’s unexpected announcement, says Sainz

Sainz, Ferrari driver
Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari
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Formula 1 is back on track today for the first time this season, testing the new single seaters around the Bahrain International Circuit, after what was quite the winter break. 

While Red Bull was taken by the Horner’s saga, all eyes at Ferrari were on no one other than Sir Lewis Hamilton, who was suddenly announced as Charles Leclerc’s new teammate for 2025 on a – seemingly – random Thursday evening. 

An announcement that came shortly after Leclerc’s renewal, taking everyone by surprise and Carlos Sainz was no exception, it seems. 

“I mean, funnily enough, my future was decided before the first race that I was not going to continue in Ferrari,” he remarked earlier today.

“Obviously, it came, as I said, unexpectedly, and I was looking forward to signing a new contract with them, and everything looked to be in the right path to go that way, but in the end it didn’t happen, as you guys know.”

“Obviously the situation has changed completely to what I thought we were in October – November last year. The situation now is completely different.”

The upcoming season will be the fourth in red for the Spaniard, who joined Ferrari back in 2021 to replace Sebastian Vettel.

“I am basically a free agent for 2025 and I have no idea yet who I’m going to be racing with,” he explained media eager to find out about his future.

“I need to take my time to decide, as I said before. See all the options that are available and try to pick the best option for me, not only for 2025, but what’s the best option for me for the next three or four years.” 

“I feel like I’m going to give my absolute best to put together a winning project in F1 and see who gives me the best chance.”

Still a long way to go before taking a decision, but by the looks of it Sauber’s team could indeed be an option.

Sauber’s current CEO Andreas Seidl knows and appreciates Sainz quite a bit, as they shared a good stint at McLaren back when he was Lando Norris’ teammate.

It could be a year of transition ahead of Audi’s Formula 1 debut in 2026. 

If that was the case, he would be the second Sainz to join the German team, as just last month his father Carlos Sainz senior  won the Dakar Rally driving for them in Saudi Arabia.

“I guess for all the drivers expiring contracts you’re looking at all the options, chatting a bit with all the teams and how other structures and teams are progressing and where they are for sure. Then you get to decide further ahead in the year probably,” continued Sainz.

For now the main thing on his mind is the season ahead with Ferrari. 

“But for the moment, I think winter testing is obviously a priority, it’s three days, the only three days of testing we have. So if you put your head elsewhere, you’re losing time, no? And then there’ll be plenty of time to sit down and decide.”

Sainz explained he “will leave that emotional part more towards for the end of the year,” rather than fixating on it from now.

“I guess for sure the last couple of races or the last race would be emotional, especially because I will leave behind a great group of people that I’ve worked very well alongside. I’ve met some very good human beings in Ferrari and I’ve also met a lot of Tifosi around the world that have made me feel at home right from the beginning.” 

Looking forward to the next few months, he explained:

“I know from Fred [Vasseur, Ferrari Team Principal] and company that they’re gonna give me full support. That if we are in a championship fight this year we’re gonna push flat out to achieve it together and have a nice last year together and then the future is long.”

“I have plenty of years, hopefully, in my career ahead of me. So let’s see where the future takes me.”