Ferrari are finding themselves in a bit of dilemma, Raikkonen is clearly not the force he used to be and has once again fallen into his Ferrari slump as he did with his last spell at the team. His results being only just about OK but nowhere near good enough.
Ferrari have a list of junior drivers and of course Jules Bianchi would probably have been next in line were it not for his horrendous and tragic accident. But no one on the Ferrari roster really makes sense.
Giovanazzi is clearly too young and too inexperienced, Fuoco and Leclerc are both serving apprenticeships in F2 (GP2) so no one has enough F1 experience for a Ferrari promotion.
Looking around the rest of the F1 grid, Maybe Lewis Hamilton would fancy a crack at a championship in red, but there is no way Vettel would allow that, Fernando Alonso burned all the bridges leading to Maranello and the Haas drivers probably aren't quite the ticket. I just can't see Grosjean ticking enough boxes to get the call.
Looking across to the Red Bull stable, they have 3 fantastic drivers who deserve to be in the big team, Ricciardo, Verstappen and Sainz, sadly 3 into 2 does not go and Sainz is not going to be content sitting on in the junior team for another year. Red Bull are going to have to promote him or let him go.
They do seem to be pretty happy with the current two drivers in the big team and as such he is going to be looking for an upgrade drive for next year.
He's proved himself as a real talent, he has the skills to match Verstappen and has proved a cut above Kvyat. He's had a good few years to grow and mature and gain experience in F1 and therefore is clearly the best option for Ferrari. He's fast enough, experienced enough and young enough to still be seen as an emerging superstar. (a bit cheaper then Raikkonen too)
It's a no-brainer isn't it?