Formula 1: Possible Carlos Sainz Jr. landing spot ruled out for 2025

Fernando Alonso's contract extension with Aston Martin effectively means that one potential Carlos Sainz Jr. has been ruled out for the 2025 Formula 1 season.
Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari, Formula 1
Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari, Formula 1 / Kym Illman/GettyImages

Before the 2024 Formula 1 season began, Carlos Sainz Jr. found out that he would not be returning to Ferrari in 2025, with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton announcing that he is set to leave Mercedes after 12 seasons and move to the Italian team next year.

In the last 22 races, Sainz is the only winner other than three-time reigning world champion Max Verstappen of Red Bull, and he has won twice during that stretch. He has also beaten teammate Charles Leclerc in all three races that they've both contested in 2024, proving his worth for any potential suitors.

The 29-year-old Spaniard, who has long been overlooked when it comes to the sport's top talent, has established himself as arguably the top free agent on the market for 2025. However, one possible landing spot has now been ruled out.

Fernando Alonso re-signs with Aston Martin

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who had been rumored as a potential Mercedes or even Red Bull driver for 2025 amid all the speculation that ensued following Hamilton's move, has agreed to return to Aston Martin on a multi-year deal.

His new contract ties him to the team through at least the 2026 season, effectively ruling out Aston Martin as a potential landing spot for Sainz next year. Lance Stroll is the son of team owner Lawrence Stroll, so unless there is a change of heart within the family about his driving future, there are no more open seats at the Silverstone-based team for at least the next two years.

However, Sainz should still have a plethora of teams interested in his services for next year. He, too, has been linked to both Red Bull, potentially as Sergio Perez's replacement, and Mercedes. Williams has even reportedly emerged as a possibility.

Sainz has also long been viewed as a potential Audi driver once they enter the sport in 2026. Given how many drivers have contracts that are set to expire after the 2024 season, it is believed that the team still known as Sauber will need to make a move to sign the driver or drivers they want for their program a year early.

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Current Sauber drivers Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu are both among the drivers who do not presently have contracts to return in 2025, so there is no shortage of open seats at the Hinwil-based team. All things considered, Aston Martin being ruled out as a potential landing spot for Sainz should not damage his hopes of remaining in Formula 1 beyond 2024.