Sainz Set for Big Move in 2025

Reports from Italy suggest that Carlos Sainz is on the brink of finalizing a deal to step into Lewis Hamilton’s shoes at Mercedes for the 2025 Formula 1 season.

Hamilton’s decision to part ways with Mercedes at the close of 2024, opting for a multi-year deal with Ferrari, sent shockwaves through the F1 community earlier this year.

With Hamilton set to join Charles Leclerc at Ferrari, Sainz finds himself without a seat for the upcoming 2025 season after his stint replacing Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari in 2021.

Initially linked with a move to Sauber ahead of Audi’s anticipated entry, Sainz’s stellar performance in the 2024 season has made him a highly sought-after asset in the F1 paddock.

Despite a setback due to appendicitis that led to him missing the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Sainz is currently trailing Leclerc by only four points in the Drivers’ standings, having graced the podium in every race he’s competed in this season.

His recent victory at the Australian Grand Prix marks his third career win, maintaining his distinction as the only non-Red Bull driver to clinch a race victory since the start of the 2023 season.

Sainz’s impressive form has positioned him as a potential contender for seats at both Mercedes and Red Bull, although Fernando Alonso’s contract extension with Aston Martin closed off one possible avenue for him.

Previously, there were rumors surrounding Max Verstappen’s potential move amid the uncertainties at Red Bull. However, Mercedes had seemingly favored Andrea Kimi Antonelli, the talented 17-year-old Italian sensation, as their preferred choice to succeed Hamilton in 2025.

Yet, recent reports from La Gazzetta dello Sport indicate that Sainz is now edging closer to securing a spot at Mercedes, with sources suggesting a potential ‘exchange’ with Hamilton in the works.

Sainz’s consistent performances alongside Leclerc, coupled with his collaborative approach and adeptness at car development, have made him an attractive prospect for Mercedes, especially with the significant regulation changes looming in 2026.

Corriere della Sera echoes these sentiments, hinting at an imminent announcement if negotiations bear fruit.

Meanwhile, Formula Uno’s website suggests that Mercedes has floated a one-plus-one-year deal to Sainz, offering flexibility for a potential transition to Antonelli or another candidate in 2026. However, Sainz is purportedly pushing for a two-year contract with the option for a third season.

Securing Sainz would enable Mercedes to adopt a more cautious strategy with Antonelli, currently navigating his debut season in the F2 feeder series.

Antonelli could potentially follow a similar trajectory to George Russell, who spent three years with Williams before ascending to Hamilton’s teammate role in 2022 after Valtteri Bottas.