Sainz-Red Bull rumours continue as Ford signs Sainz sr for Dakar programme

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The Carlos Sainz-Red Bull rumours continue to rumble on after his father Carlos Sainz Sr. has been confirmed as Ford's factory driver for the American manufacturer's 2025 Dakar programme.

After Ferrari elected not to continue with Carlos Sainz and sign seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton instead for 2025, there have been many speculations revolving around the Spaniard's future team. The three-time F1 race winner appears to have plenty of options elsewhere on the grid and is one of the most sought-after racers right now given his experience and current form.

There are a plethora of teams who are understood to have already been fighting for Sainz's signature. The most obvious choice seems to be Audi which will take over Sauber's F1 entry from 2026, but Mercedes and Red Bull are also understood to be a possible future team for Sainz.

The fact that the Spaniard does not look to be in a rush to sign a contract for next year suggests that he really has several options on the table to chose from for 2025.

With his father, Sainz Sr. having just been confirmed as Ford's factory driver for the 2025 Dakar Rally, speculations have started to rumble on again that the Ferrari driver might be on the way to join Red Bull as of next year.

The Spaniard was also part of the Red Bull Junior Team programme, and started his career in Red Bull's junior outfit, Toro Rosso. He left the Red Bull family after the energy drink company-owned team elected to promote Max Verstappen into their senior outfit.

However, with Ford set to join forces with Red Bull when the sport introduced the new generation of power units in 2026, the Spaniard might secure a race seat at Red Bull next year.

New car and line-up revealed

Ford has revealed the Ford Raptor with which the car giant will contest the 2025 Dakar Rally. The American company has also confirmed the drivers who will get behind the wheel of the new car.

Carlos Sainz will return to Ford as he seeks his fifth Dakar Rally title. Ford's second car will be driven by two-time Dakar winner Nani Roma, who will extend his partnership with Ford after having competed in the 2024 Dakar with a Ford M-Sport T1+ Ranger.

“The scale of our ambitions in off-road racing are unparalleled in Ford’s recent history and nothing is more clear in that ambition than our challenge to take the Ford Raptor to the legendary Dakar rally,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsport.

“Taking on such an enormous challenge requires the best engineers, designers, team members, navigators and drivers, and in Nani Roma and Carlos Sainz Sr, we have two of the most experienced and successful drivers in Dakar history. The Ford Raptor is already showing promising signs in testing and having two of the best drivers in the world with us for the ride gives us confidence for the continued development of the truck.”

Speaking of Sainz sr., M-Sport Director Matthew Wilson said:“Carlos is a legend of our sport and one of the most successful drivers across all formats of off-road racing. His decision to return to Ford and M-Sport after so many years is a huge boost for the team and it is great to have him back in the extended Ford family ready to take on the huge challenge that Dakar presents. With testing well underway, we have a great chance now to learn from the best and push the development of the Ford Raptor forward even further.”