Sainz in limbo: Race against time to secure F1 future

Carlos Sainz has openly discussed his future in Formula 1 amidst news that Ferrari will replace him with Lewis Hamilton for the 2025 season. Speaking with Marca, Sainz emphasized his urgency in securing his next move within the sport. “First of all I want to solve my future to be clear about where I am going to go – what comes next,” he stated. Despite Ferrari’s decision not to continue with him beyond 2024, Sainz sees a silver lining, as it allows him to concentrate fully on maximizing his own performance. “Obviously they are not going to count on me much to develop the car, so that does allow me to focus solely and exclusively on getting the most out of myself,” he explained.

The 29-year-old Spaniard, who is already in talks with teams like Sauber-Audi, Mercedes, and Red Bull for a seat in 2025, shared that the timing of his future team confirmation remains uncertain. “Honestly, I have no idea when it will be resolved, because right now the only thing we are doing is talking to everyone and finding out a little about what position each team has for availability and seeing which project suits my needs and intentions,” Sainz said, highlighting the exploratory stage of his negotiations.

Carlos Sainz Sr., a rallying legend and Sainz’s father, was noted for his presence at the pre-season tests, reportedly aiding in evaluating potential opportunities for his son. Sainz Jr. also expressed his desire for a competitive car both immediately and in the future, considering the impending regulation changes in F1. “In the ideal case I will look to be in a good position both next year and in the future, but in fact I believe that with the change in regulations around the corner, you are having to take into consideration the future much more than ever,” he remarked.

Acknowledging the strong positions of Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull in the sport, Sainz remains open to exploring options beyond these top teams due to the evolving nature of Formula 1. The competition between Sainz and his current teammate, Charles Leclerc, is seen as crucial for Sainz’s aspirations for a top seat. Pedro de la Rosa, an Aston Martin ambassador, praised Sainz’s mental strength to Marca, contrasting it with Leclerc’s apparent difficulties with the new car. “Carlos is very strong mentally, he never gives up, he is always there and always strong,” de la Rosa commented.

Additionally, Alexey Popov, a Russian F1 commentator, highlighted the importance of the upcoming season for Leclerc, especially with Hamilton joining Ferrari in 2025. Popov critiqued Leclerc’s self-critical nature, advising him to emulate the confidence of legendary drivers. “Charles has a chance, but he has to grow up in his own head,” Popov advised. “His constant self-flagellation, like (Lando) Norris – they need to look at Senna, Schumacher, Verstappen, Alonso, who never have the slightest doubt about themselves. If Charles just wants to remain a good guy, Lewis will eat him up even at the age of 40 and not knowing how to speak Italian.”

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