Carlos Sainz Continues to Look for a Seat in Formula 1

The Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz is about to lose his job. He has won three of the team’s last four race victories since 2022, but that was not enough to keep his seat next season because Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes will be moving in.

As 2023 ended, Sainz and his teammate, Charles Leclerc, were poised to sign new deals with the team. Leclerc signed in late January, but in early February Ferrari revealed that it would be poaching Hamilton from Mercedes, with which he has won six of his seven championships. Sainz would be out after four years with the team.

“That it was a bit of a surprise to the whole F1 world is no news,” he said a few weeks later. “It was obviously also for me. I’m going to start the season as strong as I can, putting all my effort into being quick, straight from the go.”

“The only assurance that I have is from myself, that I want to take the right decision,” Sainz said.Credit…Clive Rose/Getty Images

Frédéric Vasseur, the Ferrari team principal, said that telling Sainz he would be dropped was “one of the most difficult” phone calls he’d ever made.

Sainz performed well for Ferrari, but it was Leclerc who finished as runner-up to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in 2022 (Sainz finished fifth), the most recent year the Italian team challenged for the championship. Leclerc, who is a product of the Ferrari Driver Academy, has also forged a reputation as one of the fastest drivers in Formula 1. His tally of pole positions, from where drivers start races in first place, stands at 23 to Sainz’s five. Then there was the prestige for Ferrari in signing a driver as successful as Hamilton.

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