With the recent news that Charles Leclerc has signed a multi-year deal with Ferrari, questions pertaining to his teammate Carlos Sainz’s future at the team have arisen. Despite this, Spanish outlet, AS, reports that Sainz has a few options if Ferrari don’t continue his contract past 2025.
Why was Charles Leclerc’s multi-year contract announced without any mention of Sainz despite team principal, Frederic Vasseur, saying that they would discuss the driver contracts during the winter break? Well, there’s still a few details to be hashed out.
Sainz has made it very clear that he wants a multi-year deal and “not just two.” The problem is that Ferrari have allegedly only offered him a deal for 2025.
AS have reported that there’s “no nervousness” in the Sainz party, perhaps in part because Lando Norris signed with McLaren for the long-term. Norris was rumoured to be a candidate for Ferrari to replace Sainz, but maybe it’s more because Sainz has other options.
The Spanish outlet claims that “sources who know the Italian house well indicate that a one or two-year contract is being worked on, although important points still need to be resolved.
“Sainz, 29, will have driver four years for Ferrari from his arrival in 2021 until the end of his current contract. His priority, he himself has underlined, is to renew with the Italians for a long time.
“But there is Plan A and also Plan B.
“He has offers and declared interest from other teams such as Audi, which will enter the championship by absorbing the Sauber structure from 2026. But not only Audi.”
There are only five drivers outside the Ferrari camp that have confirmed contracts for 2025 so there’s an option to take Sergio Perez’s seat at Red Bull or Fernando Alonso’s at Aston Martin. The former seems unlikely due to Helmut Marko’s comments suggesting that Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz do not get along while outside of that it doesn’t seem like many drivers envy the position of driving alongside the dominant Verstappen. The Aston Martin seat is more likely but only if Fernando Alonso decides to retire.
The most likely team for Sainz to join would be Audi in 2026, thanks in part to the Sainz family having close ties to Audi due to Carlos Sainz Snr. having won the 2023 Dakar Rally with them.