Formula 1 Racing

Sainz admits losing Ferrari seat to Hamilton “a bit of a surprise” · RaceFans

Ferrari SF-24, 2024

Carlos Sainz Jnr admits he was surprised to learn he would lose his seat at Ferrari after this year.

While team mate Charles Leclerc agreed a contract extension with Ferrari earlier this year, the team has signed Lewis Hamilton to replace Sainz at the end of the season.

During 2023 Mercedes announced Hamilton had extended his contract to drive for them in 2024 and 2025. Sainz therefore was surprised to learn he had lost his seat to the seven-times champion.

“I think there was obviously a bit of a surprise, like everyone in the Formula 1 world, with the news,” he told media including RaceFans at the launch of Ferrari’s new F1 car today. “I think everyone was surprised in a way with what happened.

Pictures: First pictures: Ferrari reveals “completely new” SF-24 F1 car for 2024

“From my side, you can obviously understand that I got all the news a bit earlier than anyone else. But it’s true that then I had some weeks to reflect, some weeks to prepare and some weeks to also get ready for the car launch for the first race of the season so it gives you a bit of time to digest it, to draw your own conclusions how to focus on the 2024 season.”

Despite his disappointment at losing his place at a team he has won races for in each of the past two seasons, Sainz believes his time spent at Ferrari will make him an attractive option for other teams.

“I think I’m actually very privileged to be part of Ferrari and still having a year ahead of me, a total of four years as a Ferrari driver,” he said. “And I think once you are a Ferrari driver, you can go to every team from now on having been at Ferrari. Having been a Ferrari driver I think does good to any driver on the grid.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“If on top of that you add the fact that I won races for Ferrari, I made pole positions, I made podiums, I think I’ve helped this team to move forward up the grid and to be a better team, [then] my overall feeling of these four years is definitely positive. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me because I’m sure there is going to be good things coming.”

Sainz said he will treasure his memories of winning races for the team, the relationships he’s made there and the special experience of driving a Ferrari for the first time when he joined them in 2021.

“I have very, very good memories in this team but I would start with the first day driving a Ferrari in Fiorano,” he said. “My first ever lap in a Ferrari…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at RaceFans…