Leclerc Reveals Sainz’s F1 Future Talks Heat Up After Australian GP Victory

Charles Leclerc has conveyed his conviction that numerous team principals are actively engaging with Carlos Sainz regarding a potential drive for the 2025 season, following his triumph in Australia this past Sunday.

Sainz himself has acknowledged being “jobless” at present, having not secured a renewal of his contract with Ferrari. This move paves the way for Lewis Hamilton to join Ferrari next season.

However, with several seats remaining uncontracted beyond this year, Sainz finds himself with various opportunities to transition elsewhere.

His astounding recovery from an appendectomy just two weeks prior, culminating in his victory at Albert Park, marks a remarkable resurgence. Sainz openly admitted to spending over a week recuperating in bed, unable to maintain the rigorous fitness regimen demanded of a Formula 1 driver.

Throughout the Australian Grand Prix, Sainz appeared unfazed. Seizing the lead from Max Verstappen, he maintained his position, ultimately claiming the top spot on the podium for the third time in his career.

Notably, he stands as the sole non-Red Bull driver to secure a race victory since mid-2022. Given his current lack of a seat for the upcoming season, speculation surrounding his future is poised to dominate discussions in the ensuing months.

When queried about whether Sainz is underrated in the Formula 1 realm, both his current and former teammates refuted such claims. Leclerc, in particular, hinted at a flurry of activity surrounding Sainz, indicating a surge in communication on his end.

“I think everybody knows Carlos’ worth in the paddock,” Leclerc stated.

“He’s one of the highest-rated drivers in the paddock, and he’s been extremely strong every time he was in a Formula 1 car, and he has shown it multiple times. So I don’t think he’s underrated for that.

“I think everybody knows Carlos’ worth, and that’s why I’ve said many times that I’m not too worried about his future, because I’m sure that many, many team principals are… He doesn’t say it, but for sure they are speaking with him!

“And I’m sure he will have many opportunities and he’ll just have to make the best choice for his career.”

Lando Norris, seated alongside the Ferrari drivers during the post-race press conference, chimed in, stating: “I think Charles put it well, to be honest. There’s no reason anyone should think he’s underrated.

“I think for the people who know him, know what he’s capable of doing, know his effort level, his approach and dedication to wanting to be one of the best, exactly like he’s proved today, and over the last couple of weeks.

“I’m sure you have plenty of drivers who probably wouldn’t have tried as hard and dedicated so much of their time and effort to trying to recover and get back in the race car, and I think that’s just one example of it.

He added: “But for the people who know what he’s capable of doing, you would never ever say he’s underrated. Of course, results are always a bit of a point to show and people on the outside just easily judge things from what you see on TV.

“But when you’ve worked with him, when you know what he’s capable of doing, and when things click, they click very well and he has performances like he does this weekend.

“And I would say all year, he’s proved to be a step up from maybe what he has been last year. Yeah, you’re silly if you underrate him.”

Sainz himself wore a smile as he sat with the duo, and when prompted to share his thoughts, he replied: “I don’t know what to say. I guess I agree here with my two favourite team-mates!”

“There are some kind words there, but I agree with them. I think people that know me or have shared a team with me or people that have worked with me, know me and I don’t feel underrated by people that know about this sport.

“Then other people that maybe don’t have an insight and don’t know as much about this sport, if they want to underrate me, I’m fine with that.

“I don’t care honestly, but I care about the people that know the sport well and about my team-mates, the people that have seen my data, seen how I work, seen my speed, and that’s the thing I care about, and I don’t feel underrated by them.”