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F1 champion tips star to REPLACE Hamilton in shock move

F1 champion tips star to REPLACE Hamilton in shock move

F1 champion tips star to REPLACE Hamilton in shock move

F1 champion tips star to REPLACE Hamilton in shock move

A former Formula 1 world champion believes outgoing Ferrari star Carlos Sainz is holding out for a move to Mercedes to replace Lewis Hamilton.

The Spaniard will be replaced at the iconic Italian team next season, with current Mercedes racer Hamilton set to take his place.

F1 HEADLINES: Hamilton admits RETIREMENT thoughts as Brit declared GOAT by rival F1 champion

READ MORE: Ferrari legend QUITS amid F1 rival interest

Since the announcement was made in February, Sainz has been linked with almost every team on the grid.

Williams have been the frontrunners to secure his signature, while Alpine have emerged in recent weeks as a potential contender.

The three-time race winner is also believed to have rejected an offer from Audi - who will make their F1 debut in 2026 - as he targets a spot at a more established outfit.

Carlos Sainz has been linked with a move to a number of teams on the grid
Lewis Hamilton will replace the Spaniard at Ferrari next year

Where will Sainz be in 2025?

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is a long-time admirer of the 29-year-old, and has admitted he is one of several options being considered to line up next year alongside George Russell.

Reserve driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli is also one of the names in the frame to take over from Hamilton, and demonstrated his potential by winning the F2 Sprint Race at Silverstone last weekend.

Given that the talented Italian is only 17, however, question marks remain over whether he is ready to make the step up to F1 at this stage.

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve thinks Sainz is crossing his fingers that the Brackley-based outfit come calling, but has urged the former McLaren driver to make his mind up on his next destination or risk being left out in the cold.

“He is still probably hoping for Mercedes - Antonelli is not good enough so the seat is available for a few years," he told OLBG.com.

READ MORE: Hamilton beats Verstappen in HISTORIC British Grand Prix

Jacques Villenueve has urged Sainz to make a decision on his future

“But playing the waiting game you could find out you are the last one standing and the last one standing is not a positive here.

"At some point, you are bound to annoy other teams who have made you amazing offers. He seemed certain to be joining Williams, and then something happened.

“When you get a good offer and delay and delay at some point you will p*** people off and they won’t want him.

"You end up signing very late and you make it obvious to that team that they were only your third choice - that is not the best thing to do either."

READ MORE: Verstappen handed FIA punishment amid British Grand Prix battle

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