Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz is preparing for his final season with Ferrari. Ibraheem Al Omari/Reuters

Carlos Sainz has broken his silence on Scuderia Ferrari's decision to move on from him after the 2024 season and replace him with seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton.

News of Hamilton's shock move from Mercedes to Ferrari on a multi-year deal from the 2025 season first broke on 1st February, with the Formula 1 world stunned that such a move was actually going to occur.

Sainz was previously in the midst of negotiating a new deal with Ferrari as his contract was set to expire after the 2024 season. However, news of Hamilton's eventual arrival will see the Spaniard finish his fourth campaign with Ferrari before moving on to a new team for the 2025 season.

In the 2023 season, Sainz picked up Ferrari's only race victory of the season as he finished top of the podium at the Singapore Grand Prix after also finishing in pole position in qualifying. His win in Singapore was also the only race to be won by a driver not part of Red Bull last season.

Sainz is no stranger to moving on from teams in F1 as his first six seasons in the sport, prior to joining Ferrari, were spent at Toro Rosso, Renault and McLaren.

On Tuesday, team Ferrari and Sainz were making its first public appearance and availability to the media since the major news of Hamilton's arrival. The team was unveiling its new car, the SF-24, ahead of the upcoming season.

Speaking at the car launch, Sainz revealed how much he knew about Hamilton's move.

He said: "There was always positive talks (over a new contract) and then obviously it is true that at one point I got to know about this, and it surprised me. But it's true I got to know it a bit in advance before it all happened."

Sainz added that he understood Ferrari and Hamilton's decision to join forces, commenting: "I totally respect Lewis and his choice. When a seven-time world champion comes knocking on the door of a team like Ferrari it's obviously going to be a very attractive option for both parties."

The two race wins Sainz has experienced in his F1 career have both come whilst racing with Ferrari. Prior to joining Ferrari for the 2021 season, he had only secured two podium finishes in races, but he has picked up 16 since joining Ferrari.

Due to this career progression that Sainz has experienced with Ferrari, he will be patient in deciding on his next team as he will not want his career to stall. The 29-year-old explained: "There are important years ahead of me now. I want to find like I did in Ferrari a good stability, a good environment to work in and I'm going to take my time to listen to all the options."

Teams set to have an opening for a new driver in 2025 include Mercedes, Aston Martin and Red Bull.

Charles Leclerc, who is preparing to race alongside Sainz for one final season, will be Hamilton's race partner when the Brit joins Ferrari. The 26-year-old signed a contract extension with the team a few days before the announcement regarding Hamilton came out.

Like Sainz, Leclerc revealed that he was also aware of Hamilton's move to Ferrari prior to the news breaking publicly, mentioning: "These kinds of deals are not finalised overnight, so it takes time, and I was aware of those discussions before signing my deal, so it didn't come out as a surprise."

Leclerc did not have the best of seasons in 2023 as he failed to win a race and finished fifth in the drivers' standings. This was a step back from the year prior where he won three races, had 11 podium finishes and was the runner-up in the drivers' standings.

Before Sainz departs from Ferrari, Leclerc is keen for the pair of them to have a good season, stating: "With Carlos, it has been great, and we have got one more year together to try and do the best job possible."

Whilst the announcement of Hamilton's move to Ferrari was seen as somewhat premature by some due to the 2024 season not being underway yet, the decision to reveal the news early was to ensure Ferrari would not be distracted for the upcoming season.

There were encouraging signs for Ferrari towards the end of last season as Leclerc had pole position for three of the final five races, so the team will aim to carry that momentum into the start of the upcoming season.

Ultimately, Ferrari will hope the SF-24 can elevate the performances of Sainz and Leclerc on the track and vastly improve on the team's one-race win from last season.