MARANELLO, Italy (AP) — Carlos Sainz Jr. believes he has “plenty of options” in Formula 1 next year when he leaves Ferrari to make way for Lewis Hamilton, the Spaniard said Tuesday.
Hamilton is joining Ferrari from Mercedes next year in a move which has shaken up F1. The seven-time champion will partner with Charles Leclerc.
“There’s plenty of options out there” for 2025, Sainz said as Ferrari launched its 2024 car Tuesday, adding he had some advance notice that Hamilton was taking his Ferrari seat but was surprised all the same.
Sainz said he plans to take his time before signing for any other team.
“I think it is going to be probably a longer process. I have, ahead of me, probably my most important three or four years of my career, you know, where I want to make sure that I am in the right place at the right time,” Sainz said. “I want to make sure I pick the right next destination for me. So I’m going to take my time to think about it, to have a look at all the options. Then I can just feel confident, when I take the decision, I’ve given myself enough time and enough information.”
Sainz is heading into his fourth and final season with Ferrari, where he took his first F1 win in Britain in 2022 and was the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race last season with victory in Singapore.
“I have very, very, very good memories in this team,” Sainz said. “My first-ever lap in a Ferrari around Fiorano (test track) is one of the most emotional moments of my career.”