Where next for Carlos Sainz? Five options for Ferrari star after Lewis Hamilton bombshell

Liam Corless
Carlos Sainz will be racing for a new team next year

The headlines on a rather quiet transfer deadline day were stolen by a blockbuster switch in F1 as it emerged Lewis Hamilton will leave Mercedes to join Ferrari next year.

Hamilton has been with Mercedes for 12 years, winning six of his seven world titles during his stint with the Brackley-based team.

Next season, though, he will race in the famous red of legendary Italian team Ferrari, following in the footsteps of his idol Michael Schumacher.

The knock-on effect

Hamilton will replace Carlos Sainz at Ferrari, leading many to wonder which team the Spaniard will race for next season.

Mercedes is an obvious option, with Hamilton’s move in the other direction freeing his seat up. Sainz will be a hot ticket next season thanks to his consistent performances for Ferrari over the last three years and Mercedes, although not currently a championship contender, remain one of the biggest constructors in the sport.

Red Bull could soon be on the hunt for a second driver, with Sergio Perez’s current contract up at the end of this year. Sainz would very much be the the second driver at Red Bull behind Max Verstappen and the pair are also said to have had a ‘toxic’ relationship when they were teammates at Toro Rosso, so the team dynamic might not be quite right should Sainz join the world champions.

Joining Sauber would likely lead to an uncompetitive season from Sainz in 2025 but he would then be guaranteed to be the star driver in time for Audi’s move into the sport in 2026 – a status he wouldn’t enjoy at Red Bull and perhaps even Mercedes, given George Russell’s showings since moving up from Williams.

Aston Martin and Williams are two other, far less likely, options given the uncertain futures of the two teams’ current drivers, with 42-year-old Fernando Alonso’s long-term future at Aston Martin not guaranteed and Williams’ Alex Albon a contender for Hamilton’s old Mercedes seat.

Related Topics

About The Author

Liam has 10 years' experience in journalism, having previously operated as the Manchester Evening News' associate football editor, and as an editor for the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express and the Daily Star.