F1 Rumor: Carlos Sainz Future Is Set As Contract Signed

Jun 7, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Ferrari driver driver Carlos Sainz (ESP) in the pit lane during the practice session at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Ferrari driver driver Carlos Sainz (ESP) in the pit lane during the practice session at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Sainz is rumored to have sealed his future by inking a contract with Alpine for the upcoming season. After a dramatic parting of ways with Ferrari, which cleared the deck for Lewis Hamilton's entry in 2025, Sainz engaged in a negotiation saga that saw him at the center of interest from major teams such as Red Bull, Mercedes, Sauber/Audi, and Williams.

Sainz's career trajectory took a decisive turn following extensive negotiations, influenced heavily by the movements of other top drivers and strategic team decisions across the competitive landscape. Notably, decisions at Mercedes that saw Toto Wolff sign rising star Andrea Kimi Antonelli influenced Sainz's options and arguably the configuration of negotiations across teams.

Initially leaning towards Williams, a historic team that promised a blend of legacy and potential under its existing Mercedes power units, Sainz has reportedly been swept up by a more compelling pitch from Alpine, spearheaded by Flavio Briatore, the team's new super consultant. Briatore, known for his critical role in shaping the careers of legends like Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, presented Sainz with a groundbreaking vision for Alpine’s future.

Alpine's plan under Briatore includes centralizing technical resources at their Enstone headquarters, focusing on advancements in chassis and aerodynamics. Additionally, a reported shift will see Alpine transition from Renault power units to Mercedes engines by 2026, aligning with new regulations concentrating on electrified hybrid engines. Operations at the Viri-Chatillon factory will pivot exclusively to advancing Alpine’s hypercar programs, including an ambitious push at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Critically, Sainz's decision was shaped more by the long-term stability and competitive potential offered by Alpine rather than immediate financial incentives. While Sauber did present a lucrative three-year deal, the comprehensive project outlined by Briatore tipped the scales, signalling a promising overhaul at Alpine poised to revive its fortunes.

If true, joining Sainz in the Alpine cockpit will be Pierre Gasly, who has secured a multi-year deal with the team, setting the stage for what could be a robust partnership capable of challenging F1's frontrunners.

As the F1 grid adjusts to these new realities, other drivers are finding new homes, with Valtteri Bottas eyeing a move to Williams and Esteban Ocon slated to join Haas. Meanwhile, the driver market continues to buzz with activity as teams align their rosters ahead of the next season.


Published
Alex Harrington

ALEX HARRINGTON

Alex is the editor-in-chief of F1 editorial. He fell in love with F1 at the young age of 7 after hearing the scream of naturally aspirated V10s echo through his grandparents' lounge. That year he watched as Michael Schumacher took home his fifth championship win with Ferrari, and has been unable to look away since.