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What Alonso contract means for Sainz's F1 future

What Alonso contract means for Sainz's F1 future

What Alonso contract means for Sainz's F1 future

What Alonso contract means for Sainz's F1 future

Fernando Alonso has signed a new contract with Aston Martin. What does that mean for his compatriot Carlos Sainz?

Alonso's future had been a topic of hot debate, with speculation mounting that the Spaniard, the oldest driver on the grid at 42, could retire at the end of the season.

But that has now been dashed, with the two-time world champion signing a new contract through to 2026 on Thursday.

READ MORE: Alonso announces long-term new F1 contract in HISTORIC move

It had been debatable as to who was the No.1 driver at Ferrari in recent seasons, with Sainz seen as the on-track leader but Charles Leclerc a graduate of their junior driver programme, and held in high regard.

There will be little doubt next season when Lewis Hamilton arrives from Mercedes. And Sainz, not Leclerc, is the one looking for a move away to guarantee his seat.

Aston Martin might have been it, but clearly that is no longer up for grabs, with Lance Stroll also under lock and key as Alonso's No.2.

Carlos Sainz is considering his options

Do Red Bull or Mercedes need Sainz?

The Alonso signing leaves only two top drives available for the 2025 season: Red Bull Racing and Mercedes, and Christian Horner has already suggested that Sergio Perez will keep his place behind three-time defending champion Max Verstappen at Red Bull.

"The whole driver market seems to be very early this year," he said after the Japanese Grand Prix, in which Red Bull secured the 1-2.

"Everybody seems to be rushing around and we're only four races into the year. We are not in a huge rush and obviously there's a significant amount of interest in our cars, as you would expect.

"Checo has the priority and it's going to be a few more races yet before we start to think about next year,"

Mercedes will of course look to replace Hamilton at Mercedes, and Sainz could be in the conversation, but rookie Andrea Kimi Antonelli is now the favourite to replace the Englishman.

The new Audi team are also in the hunt for a driver, but they don't join the grid until after the coming season.

Alonso's contract still means that Sainz has gone from jostling for position with Leclerc at Ferrari to fighting for his F1 future outright.

READ MORE: Sainz reveals talks with MULTIPLE teams over contract

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Mercedes Lewis Hamilton Carlos Sainz Charles Leclerc Fernando Alonso Aston Martin
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