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Carlos Sainz admits shock at Lewis Hamilton replacing him at Ferrari

Carlos Sainz admits he was shocked by news of Lewis Hamilton’s future transfer to Ferrari.

Hamilton, 39, will depart Mercedes at the end of the 2024 season and replace the Spaniard in 2025.

Sainz, speaking for the first time since the blockbuster move was announced, said: “I was a bit surprised, like everyone in the Formula 1 world.

“From my side you can understand I got to know the news a bit earlier than anyone else and I had some weeks to reflect and prepare and some weeks to also get ready for the car launch and the first race of the season.

“That gave me a bit of time to digest it and to draw my own conclusions and to focus on the 2024 season.

“I have had lot of messages of support which I would like to thank the F1 world for and friends back at home, who have been very supportive and very encouraging.”

Sainz, 29, was speaking at Ferrari’s launch as they unveiled the challenger they hope will be able to challenge Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

However, Hamilton’s switch to Ferrari leaves two-time race winner Sainz looking for a seat.

Sainz, the only driver outside of Red Bull to claim a victory last year, said: “My next team, I don’t know yet and I have time to decide when that happens next. There are plenty of options out there.

Carlos Sainz (right) admitted being replaced by Lewis Hamilton came as a surprise (Scuderia Ferrari/PA)

“I am approaching the most important three or four years of my career and I want to make sure that I am in the right place. I am going to listen to all the options so when I take the decision I have give myself enough time with enough information.

“It is completely possible to separate one from the other. I have a good management team that will take care of that so my full focus will be on the first

Read more on independent.co.uk