(GMM) Carlos Sainz Jr. has broken his silence following confirmation he will be replaced by seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton in 2025 and is not worried whatsoever.
The Spaniard was already being linked with a potential move to Sauber-Audi, but 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve says his “bargaining power” has been greatly diminished by the looming ousting.
Former Renault boss Flavio Briatore told the Italian daily Libero: “Sainz will arrive at the winter test very irritated, with a great desire for revenge.
“But I see him fitting in well at Audi, just like his father does.”
Sainz, 29, issued a brief media statement when the news broke, but he has now been hit with a barrage of questions as he launched his new kart brand CS55 this week.
“I’m calm, I’m fine,” he told Sky Italia.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Hamilton only told him about the bombshell move last week, but Sainz insists he had more warning than that.
“From the inside I knew and saw things before all of you,” Sainz told reporters. “I was prepared and we are already working on the future, but we know that we have a very important season ahead of us.”
He denies that the news has left a big question mark over his entire Formula 1 career.
“I am very aware of how much I am worth as a driver, and for this reason I am very calm when I look to the future. Good things will definitely come, but for now my goal remains to do my best with Ferrari,” said Sainz.
However, he admits having to hand back his red overalls at the end of this season is a blow.
“It’s certainly not the best feeling to start the season, but the moment I put on my helmet in Bahrain and get on the track, the only feeling I’ll feel will be the desire to win the world championship,” Sainz added.
“Knowing that it is the last year with a team is not the most normal thing to start a new season, but you can be sure that I will only think about going as fast as possible.”
Meanwhile, one cheeky reporter asked if he will give any advice to Hamilton as the sport’s most successful driver of all time prepares for his Maranello move.
“He should try my kart,” Sainz smiled.