Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari has shaken the sport, but what could be next for the outgoing Carlos Sainz? A move to the improving Williams, a step up to Red Bull… or a straight swap with the Brit!

  • News of Hamilton’s move to Ferrari, breaking on Thursday, has stunned the sport
  • The Brit will partner Charles Leclerc, bringing and end to Sainz’s stay with team
  • Sainz will now have to find a new seat and team if he wants to stay in the sport 

Carlos Sainz’s Formula 1 future is up in the air after the bombshell reveal that Lewis Hamilton is set to join Ferrari in 2025.

Hamilton’s move has been dubbed the biggest in the sport since he joined Mercedes from McLaren in 2013, and he is set to partner Charles Leclerc with the team as he bids to win his eighth world title.

The pair have already formed quite the friendship, with Leclerc insisting Hamilton would be the perfect team-mate in a recent press conference involving the duo.

But the news provides an uncertainty around Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard’s future has been up in the air for a while, and he called for clarity seven months ago, with a decision still yet to me made on where his future lies.

One thing that seems certain, however, is that he won’t be driving a Ferrari after this year, and he will now be on the lookout for a new seat to prolong his career in the sport.

Carlos Sainz’s Formula 1 career is up in the air after it was revealed Lewis Hamilton would be joining Ferrari

Hamilton is set to make the move to Ferrari from 2025 as he bids to win his eighth world title

Hamilton is set to make the move to Ferrari from 2025 as he bids to win his eighth world title

The Brit is set to replace Sainz, who must now look for a new team in order to stay in the sport

The Brit is set to replace Sainz, who must now look for a new team in order to stay in the sport

‘I’m not going to lie, I don’t like going into my last year of a contract without really knowing where I’m racing the next year,’ Sainz said in an interview with Autosport in June last year.

‘I went through that process both with Red Bull and Renault, and I know it’s not ideal as an athlete, and as a driver. It’s just not the right thing. And that’s why I have put this winter as a reference to try and figure out my future.’

The 29-year-old is contracted until the end of 2024, and will likely be pleased to at least have some clarity on where his future lies. The fact it’s not with Ferrari, however, may not have gone down so well.

New team boss Fred Vasseur – a good friend of Hamilton’s – made it clear in December that he wanted to sort out his drivers’ contracts before the start of the year.

Hamilton's move to Ferrari will bring an end to the four-year partnership between Leclerc and Sainz

Hamilton’s move to Ferrari will bring an end to the four-year partnership between Leclerc and Sainz

Hamilton and Leclerc already have a solid friendship, with the latter previously suggesting the Brit would be the perfect team-mate

Hamilton and Leclerc already have a solid friendship, with the latter previously suggesting the Brit would be the perfect team-mate

That was done with Leclerc last week, when it was revealed he had put pen to paper on a deal beyond the end of 2024. Though no exact length was declared, reports have suggested that the deal is long-term.

If Hamilton is to officially join Ferrari, Sainz’s future will be sorted too. But who does he turn to?

There is the possibility of Williams, who continue to improve after a dismal few years. He could however earn an upgrade, with Sergio Perez clinging onto his Red Bull seat by the year, meaning the sport’s top team could have a space to partner world champion Max Verstappen available soon.

Leclerc is 13 years Hamilton's junior and there are high hopes he will go onto win his own world titles in the future

Leclerc is 13 years Hamilton’s junior and there are high hopes he will go onto win his own world titles in the future

Sainz could move to the likes of Williams, Red Bull, or potentially Mercedes as a replacement for Hamilton

Sainz could move to the likes of Williams, Red Bull, or potentially Mercedes as a replacement for Hamilton

A move to Mercedes would see Sainz work under Toto Wolff (pictured)

Joining Red Bull, meanwhile, would result in a partnership with Max Verstappen (pictured)

A move to Mercedes would see Sainz work under Toto Wolff (left), while joining Red Bull would result in a partnership with Max Verstappen (right)

And then there’s Mercedes. The potential of a direct trade for Hamilton is, in theory, on the cards. It’s unlikely – Mercedes are likely to try and poach the best or go for a more up-and-coming talent, but it can’t be ruled out.

Wherever Sainz’s future lies, both he and Ferrari seem to have got their wishes in one way or another. The team drivers for the foreseeable future are sorted, and Sainz knows he needs to find a new car.

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