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Carlos Sainz

Sainz taken by surprise over Hamilton Ferrari switch

The Spaniard will make way for the seven-time World Champion at the end of the upcoming F1 season.

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Carlos Sainz has conceded Lewis Hamilton's move to Ferrari for next season was a "surprise" but that the early announcement has allowed him to prepare for the new season.

Mercedes driver Hamilton will make the switch to fulfil a 'childhood dream' when joining the Maranello-based outfit next year, bringing an end to what will have been 12 seasons with the Silver Arrows.

Spaniard Sainz is the collateral in the move, making way for Hamilton to partner Charles Leclerc and speaking to media including RacingNews365 after the launch of the SF-24, he explained: "It was a bit of a surprise - like to everyone in the F1 world - with the news.

"Everyone was surprised in a way with what happened and from my side, I got to know the news a bit earlier than everyone else.

"It's true that I have had some weeks to reflect, to prepare and also get ready for the car launch and the first race of the season.

"So it gives you a bit of time to digest it, to take your own conclusions and to focus on the 2024 season and the race ahead.

"But the fact it was a surprise to the whole F1 world is no news and it was obviously also for me."

Where will Sainz end up?

Sainz's options remain largely open for now with almost half the grid out of contract at the end of the campaign.

It has been suggested Stake Sauber will be his likely landing spot given the impending transition to the Audi works team from 2026 - a brand that father Carlos Sr has gained great success with, including this year's Dakar Rally.

But asked where he envisaged moving to for next term, Sainz replied: "I don't know yet but I now have a bit of time to decide where that will be.

"There's plenty of options out there and there is time to take an important decision in the next few months."

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