Carlos Sainz has openly expressed his desire for a multi-year contract renewal with Ferrari, hoping for a deal to be finalized before the 2024 season begins. Amidst rumors of Charles Leclerc being offered a lucrative five-year extension, Sainz, at an event for his sponsor Estrella Galicia in Madrid, addressed the speculation surrounding his own contract situation.
“There is talk about what they’re offering me but it’s being said without knowing and I’m not going to speculate,” Sainz stated, responding to rumors about the length and terms of his new contract. Ferrari’s new team boss Frederic Vasseur recently mentioned that contract discussions have started and an outcome will be known “soon.”
Sainz emphasized his commitment and aspirations with Ferrari, saying, “We have to agree, and we have three months ahead of us to do it – until the first race of the world championship. Obviously, I want to renew and I would like to do it for more than a year. I feel perfectly valued by Fred and the entire Ferrari family and as a driver, that is your main priority.”
The 29-year-old Spaniard underscored the importance of feeling valued and confident in the team’s future plans. “I will renew if I feel that way and if I feel valued, which I am. I am convinced that if we both want it, we will reach an agreement,” he added.
With his current contract set for 2024, Sainz expressed his eagerness to secure his future in F1, especially with Ferrari. “The reality is that there have been conversations as Fred said the other day. I want to start knowing where I am going to be in 2025. I wouldn’t like to start without knowing what my next destination is. My number one priority is Ferrari and to be there for many more years. It’s not secret – it’s a team I’m very happy with.”
Sainz also reflected on Ferrari’s challenge to close the gap with Red Bull. “I believe Max has not needed to go 100 percent in all the races and that is what scares me most of all,” he said. “That’s why I tell Ferrari that we do not need to improve four (tenths), but six. We have to see why in the race we are missing that little step.”
He acknowledged the discrepancy between Ferrari’s performance in qualifying and the actual races, urging the team to understand and rectify the gap. “On Saturday we see that we are not that far away, but later in the race they have 3 tenths or half a second per lap that becomes 30 seconds at the finish line,” Sainz explained.
Sainz concluded by admitting that both Ferrari and Mercedes may have been misguided in their mid-2022 strategies, which contributed to the gap with Red Bull. “I think we made the mistake of going in the wrong direction that the mid-2022 car showed us. We thought we were not that far away. It also happened to Mercedes.”