Carlos Sainz snubs Max Verstappen for Lewis Hamilton in team-mate debate

Jamie Woodhouse
Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton speak. Silverstone July 2022.

Lewis Hamilton speaks to Carlos Sainz on the podium. Silverstone July 2022.

If Carlos Sainz were to choose between having Max Verstappen as a team-mate once more or partnering up with Lewis Hamilton, then the Ferrari driver would chose Hamilton.

If rumours earlier in the F1 2023 campaign had have come true, then Sainz could have found himself either as Ferrari team-mate to Hamilton from next season, or making way for the seven-time champ’s arrival.

Fortunately for Sainz though, such talk never materialised into any actual driver movement, with Hamilton expected to stay at Mercedes once his long-awaited contract extension finally gets signed off.

Carlos Sainz feels he would learn from Lewis Hamilton

While Sainz has already been team-mate to Verstappen, the pair making their F1 breakthrough together at Toro Rosso in 2015 as graduates of the Red Bull Junior Team, Sainz has never in his career been able to call Hamilton a team-mate.

So, he would take the chance to change that if the opportunity ever arose, feeling he would become a better driver working alongside statistically the best Formula 1 has ever seen in Hamilton.

“I’ve already been Max’s team-mate, so I know I would get on well with him and we would have a good [relationship],” Sainz told The Express.

“I’ve never been team-mates with Lewis, but I guess being a team-mate of a seven-time World Champion has to be good for your career and you’re probably going to learn.

“So maybe, just to try something different, I would like Lewis. But honestly, I don’t care. Whoever I have as a team-mate, I’ll embrace it.”

Sainz has one grand prix victory to his name as a Formula 1 driver after taking the chequered flag at the 2022 British Grand Prix, an event which serves as a home race for Hamilton and one which he has won eight times, more than any other driver.

For Sainz, he described his British GP win as “the best moment of my life and career”, and now he has his eyes set on another trio of destinations on the F1 calendar where he wants to win in Ferrari red.

“Monza, Spain and Monaco are the places where I would like to win next with Ferrari,” Sainz declared. recommends

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Hard to predict if and when Carlos Sainz can win again with Ferrari

Ferrari’s story across the F1 2023 campaign so far has been very much one of false dawns and damaging lows.

It all stems from the objective set at the very start of the season, that being to challenge for F1 2023 title glory, and only 10 rounds into the campaign, that aim has long since been dead in the water.

Red Bull have won all 10 grands prix so far this season, Verstappen claiming eight of them, with team and driver marching towards back-to-back title doubles. It looks like only Red Bull themselves could stop the first undefeated F1 season from being achieved.

Ferrari have had their highs, Austria for example suggested they were back on the right path with their upgraded SF-23 as Charles Leclerc scored a P2 finish, Sainz left feeling shell-shocked as he missed out on the podium, yet next time out at Silverstone Ferrari slumped to a P9 and P10 finish.

There is something of a trend of inconsistency in this pack chasing Red Bull, but Red Bull right now are the definition of consistency, and that, alongside Ferrari’s continued inability to put a decent run together, makes Sainz’s prospects of winning again in F1 bleak for the foreseeable future.

Read next: Is a ‘frosty relationship’ developing between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz?