Ferrari delivered the bombshell news last week that they had signed Hamilton for next season with the seven-time Formula One champion leaving Mercedes after a magnificent 11-year partnership.
With Charles Leclerc recently signing a long-term contract with the Scuderia, Sainz will be leaving the team at the end of the year with his future now uncertain.
Shortly after the announcement, the Spaniard released this short statement: ‘We still have a long season ahead of us and, like always, I will give my absolute best for the Team and for the Tifosi all around the world. News about my future will be announced in due course.’
It was surely a bitter blow for Sainz who has driven superbly for Ferrari since replacing Sebastian Vettel in 2021, claiming two wins in that time, including the only non-Red Bull victory of 2023 at Singapore.
The 29-year-old has now opened up on his impending exit, but he insists he has made peace with Ferrari’s decision, telling Sky Italia: ‘No, I was not disappointed.
‘Living Ferrari from the inside, I already knew several things and I prepared with the team for the changes ahead, though I don’t want to think about anything other than how to give my all this season for Ferrari.
‘I am calm, we are already working on the future, but we know that we have a very important season ahead of us. This will be my last year at Ferrari, so I want to do the best I can.
‘For sure it’s not the best feeling to start the season with, but the moment I put on my helmet in Bahrain and take to the track, the only feeling I’ll have is the will to go harder and harder, aiming also for the World Championship victory.’
A driver of Sainz’s talent will be in demand and he has been a long-time target for Audi who are set to enter F1 in 2026 when they takeover the Stake team.
Lewis Hamilton’s replacement at Mercedes odds:
Carlos Sainz – 6/4
Alex Albon – 2/1
Fernando Alonso – 5/1
Daniel Ricciardo – 8/1
Esteban Ocon – 16/1
Andrea Kimi Antonelli – 25/1
Odds courtesy of BonusCodeBets
There is of course a vacancy at Mercedes now, and the former Renault and McLaren star is one of the favourites to replace Hamilton, though he faces stiff competition from the likes of Alex Albon and teenage sensation Andrea Kimi Antonelli.
Discussing his future plans, Sainz added: ‘In my career I have always made progress, improving more every year.
‘This has always been and always will be my philosophy, and it will be the same this year. In 2024 I will turn 30, but I feel younger and more motivated than ever.
‘I am aware of what I am worth as a driver, and for that reason I am very calm when I look to the future. Good things will definitely come, but for now my goal remains to do my best with Ferrari.’
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