According to World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, Carlos Sainz
has no more motivation to play the ultimate team game now that he is leaving Ferrari
Carlos Sainz found himself in a quite strange situation ahead of the 2024 season. Ferrari announced he will be replaced by the seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton from the season 2025
However, the Spanish driver still has one more season with the Italian team, knowing that his teammate Charles Leclerc received a long-term contract and that he will be replaced after the end of the year, no matter what.
World Champion Jacques Villeneuve suggested this is exactly the position in which the 29-year-old will have no more motivation to satisfy his team. He told Gazzetta dello Sport
"Sainz now has nothing left to lose. Sainz will have no interest in playing the team’s games."
It is also possible that Leclerc will be placed as Ferrari's number-one driver now that it is clear he will stay with the team. It will definitely be interesting to watch the dynamics inside the Scuderia in 2024.
Last year, Fred Vasseur stated his drivers had completely equal status. From what was understood, their position going into the race was based on their qualifying sessions.
So, let's say if Leclerc qualified ahead of Sainz, the Spaniard's strategy might be sacrificed to help the 26-year-old. But now, according to Villeneuve, Sainz has no reason to care about the team's results.
"Ferrari’s results now count for zero for him, the only thing that will count will be his results. He has to do them for his contract for 2025. Possibly trying to beat Leclerc."
The 29-year-old must show what he's got in 2024 because he still hasn't secured a deal with another team. Just how much of a team game he will be playing remains to be seen.