Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Sainz: All my best 2025 F1 seat options are "still open"

Carlos Sainz insists all the "best options are still open" for his post-2024 Formula 1 future, but reckons it is a "coin toss" one team will gain massively with the 2026 engines.

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari, 3rd position, in the Press Conference

Photo by: Motorsport Images

The direction of Sainz's career once he leaves Ferrari is currently the subject of major F1 paddock interest, given he is being dropped by the Scuderia in favour of Lewis Hamilton, while also being the only non-Red Bull driver to have won races since 2022.

The F1 driver market is in rare early overdrive in 2024, with most of the grid also out of contract just as Sainz and his camp try to plot his next move.

He had become a possible 2025 candidate for the Aston Martin team before Fernando Alonso chose to re-sign with the team, while Red Bull and Mercedes also have vacancies in F1's frontrunning pack and Sainz has long been linked to Audi's nascent takeover of Sauber.

Asked ahead of the Chinese GP if he might be forced to choose racing for a team with less potential for success in 2025 if he wants his future sorted early – as has been suggested is Sainz's preference – he replied: "No. My best options are still open which I think is a positive thing and is something that quite obviously requires a bit of time, given the situation of the market.

"It's going to take some time for everyone to make up their own minds and take their decisions, but the good options are still open.

"There hasn't been any progress over the last couple of weeks, so there isn't anything to update you on.

"Obviously, the sooner it gets to a point – the sooner everything develops – the better because, at the same time, it's not like it's affecting my performance this year, but the earlier that you take it out of your head and of the situation, the better.

"But it requires time and it requires some decision-making, so now it's time to let that happen and see its progress."

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari, arrives at the track

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari, arrives at the track

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Sainz also claimed that "all the options are viable ones right now for me" because of his current contractual situation.

"So, I need to consider all the options," he added.

A part of this is expected to be assessing which of F1's new and coming engine manufacturers might produce the best version of the simplified power units in 2026, as Mercedes was able to dominate the championship having done exactly this a decade ago.

Alonso, for instance, insists that Aston having a works Honda deal from 2026 was a major part of his decision-making process to stay there, although sources had indicated his chances of signing anywhere else had dwindled in the run-up to the Japanese race last time out.

Sainz, however, suggests that given the huge regulation change he considers "2026 a bit like a coin toss".

He explained this was because "it's impossible to know right now who is going to get it right for 2026".

"So, even when I take the decision for when where I'm going to be 2026/2027 – it doesn't matter how much you talk to teams, how much they sell you how good they're doing with the engine – the reality is no one knows," he continued.

"If someone wins in 2026, in my opinion, it's not because of smart decision-making, but because you're just in the right place and the right time.

"Regarding 2025, for sure my opinion is, with the level I'm showing and I'm driving now, obviously being in a competitive car would be very appealing for me.

"But, again, it doesn't depend on me and I need to keep waiting."

Watch: F1 Teams Concerns about the 2026 Regulations Changes

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Norris: McLaren can win races in F1 2024 if it gets everything right
Next article Ricciardo brushes off F1 future worries, new chassis brings "peace of mind"

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe