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Carlos Sainz next team: Ferrari star has four options for F1 2025 season

The Spaniard is in high demand after a stellar start to the 2024 season, with several teams likely to be keen on the Ferrari star

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Carlos Sainz may well be spoilt for choice in choosing his next Formula 1 team for 2025 as it appears to be an increasingly likely scenario that the Ferrari driver will stay on the grid next year.

The Spaniard has been in superb form since it was announced Lewis Hamilton would be replacing him as Charles Leclerc‘s teammate next year, leaving Sainz with no option but to search for a new employer – and he could potentially end up at a rival.

The 29-year-old has responded by winning the 2024 Australian Grand Prix last month and securing podiums in Bahrain and Japan, ensuring he is the only driver on the grid with a 100 percent podium finish record in 2024. His performances have made the top teams take note of his availability, with Sainz confirming his representatives have held talks with “almost every team”.

Spanish outlet Soy Motor report that a final decision may not be announced until July ‘at the earliest’, which gives Sainz plenty of time to mull over his options. Total-Motorsport.com look at which F1 teams could snap up Sainz in time for 2025.

Carlos Sainz admires the Sir Jack Brabham Trophy after taking victory in the 2024 Australian GP | Xavi Bonilla/DPPI / Scuderia Ferrari

Audi

The Madrid native has an offer on the table from Audi, although the German manufacturer have indicated they won’t wait forever and have applied a deadline to their deal.

But for Sainz, the decision to join Audi – who are set to enter F1 in 2025 by taking over the Sauber team – is not straightforward. Despite the brand’s sporting successes in other categories, they are expected to be backmarkers for at least one season and winning in the short-term is not regarded as a realistic aim.

Sainz, entering the peak of his career, wants to win races and compete for the championship. While Audi having him as a driver would represent a huge boost for the brand, the unknown quantity of their chassis and engine may cause Sainz to think twice.

Red Bull

The market is currently on hold while Max Verstappen and Red Bull decide what they will do. The internal situation in the Austrian team has been fractured in recent months, leading to the suggestion Verstappen could leave, while Christian Horner is in no rush to make a decision over their driver lineup.

At Red Bull, it would make sense for Sainz to partner Sergio Perez for sponsorship reasons, as well as the fact he has a good relationship with the team. He has also worked with Verstappen at Toro Rosso before, although it remains to be seen whether Sainz would accept being second fiddle in 2025.

But if Perez leaves, it would open up a seat in the fastest car on the grid – and it may be difficult for Sainz to turn down the drive he wanted a decade ago.

Mercedes

Mercedes have a vacancy on the grid and it would represent the most desirable option for Sainz, who would fancy his chances in competing against George Russell.

But Toto Wolff appears to have a defined strategy in place in that he will wait for Verstappen’s decision while considering their F2 prodigy, Andrea Kimi Antonelli, with the Italian set to step into the W12 for a rigorous test programme.

Soy Motor also claim Wolff has not mentioned Sainz in his long-term plans, but this may be the ace up his sleeve as he keeps his plans under wraps in case Verstappen stays with Red Bull. It is believed the Austrian is putting his eggs in the Verstappen basket and doesn’t want to irritate the 26-year-old by lining up another driver.

Lawrence Stroll, co-owner of Aston Martin, talks to Martin Whitmarsh, CEO of Aston Martin F1 and Lance Stroll | Aston Martin F1 Team

Aston Martin

Lawrence Stroll wants a winning Aston Martin car and the Canadian is ambitious in his plans, with both Sainz and Russell on his radar, the second for 2026.

The issue is that he also has designs on recruiting Verstappen and the other drivers will have to wait in the meantime while he ponders his future.

Given that his son, Lance Stroll, currently races for the team, it is difficult to contemplate the idea of Lawrence ditching Lance to form an all-Spanish lineup with Fernando Alonso. But a seat could open up if Alonso joins Red Bull or Mercedes for 2025.

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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