Carlos Sainz insists ‘best options’ still open for 2025 despite Fernando Alonso’s new contract

Carlos Sainz insists his “best options” for a new drive in Formula 1 next year are still available after Fernando Alonso signed a new deal at Aston Martin.

Two-time F1 world champion Alonso has committed to racing until the age of 45 as he last week penned an extension at Aston until the end of the 2026 season.

With Lance Stroll likely to continue as Alonso’s team-mate for the foreseeable future, Aston are off the table as an option for Sainz, who has been dropped by Ferrari in favour of Lewis Hamilton next year.

Yet Sainz, the only non-Red Bull race winner in F1 since 2022, remains the most appealing free agent on the grid for 2025 and has been linked with Mercedes, Red Bull and Sauber (who fall into Audi ownership in 2026).

“All my best options are still open, which is a positive thing and something that requires a bit of time given the situation of the market,” Sainz said on Thursday, ahead of this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

“It’s going to take some time for everyone to make up their own minds and make their own decisions, but the good options are still open. There has been barely any progress over the last couple of weeks so there’s nothing to really update you on.

“Obviously, it gets to a point where the sooner everything develops, the better. At the same time it’s not like it’s affecting my performances at all this year.

“But the earlier you take the situation out of your head, the better. But it requires time and some decision making so, as I said last week, we’ll let that happen and see how things progress.”

Carlos Sainz is still looking for a new team for 2025 (Getty Images)
Carlos Sainz is still looking for a new team for 2025 (Getty Images)

Sainz won the Australian Grand Prix last month and has finished on the podium in the two other races he has completed in Bahrain and Japan. The 29-year-old missed the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix due to undergoing an appendectomy.

Mercedes are yet to pick a driver to replace seven-time world champion Hamilton next year. Sainz is one contender, as is Williams’ Alex Albon and 17-year-old junior driver Kimi Antonelli.

Red Bull may have a seat available too, with Sergio Perez’s contract expiring at the end of the season. However, the Mexican believes his future will be sorted “within a month” after a strong start to the 2024 campaign with three second-place finishes behind Max Verstappen.

F1 returns to China after a five-year absence this weekend and Shanghai will also host the first sprint weekend of the 2024 season.