Sainz "in the middle" of negotiations over new Ferrari F1 contract

Carlos Sainz Jr says he is currently “in the middle” of negotiations with Ferrari about an extension to his contract with the legendary Formula 1 team.

Sainz "in the middle" of negotiations over new Ferrari F1 contract

The Spaniard joined Ferrari as a replacement for Sebastian Vettel at the beginning of last year and now heads in the 2022 campaign as the final season of the initial two-year contract he agreed to sign back in early 2020.

Sainz completed a successful first season with Ferrari in 2021 as he finished as best-of-the-rest behind the Red Bull and Mercedes racers in fifth place in the drivers’ standings – beating McLaren’s Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc in a closely-fought scrap as the year concluded – and took four of the team’s five podiums.

Leclerc heads into 2022 with three seasons remaining on the five-year deal he agreed with Ferrari at the end of 2019 – the last season where the team scored an F1 win.

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto said late in 2021 that the team expected to open negotiations with Sainz during the off-season and that he thought at the time that reaching agreement for an extension would be “an easy discussion”.

Sainz was asked to provide an update on his contract situation at Ferrari’s 2022 season launch, where the team revealed its F1-75 challenger, and he confirmed talks had indeed begun on schedule.

“I have to announce that there’s nothing to announce!” Sainz initially joked.

“At the moment, we are in the middle of the discussions.

“I think it’s been pretty clear that both Ferrari and myself – we are happy with the situation and we want to keep working together in the future.

“And we’ve put certain targets [for] ourselves to try and have [a new contract agreed] as soon as possible. But at the moment nothing is done yet.”

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari, Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari, Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari

Photo by: Ferrari

Ferrari heads into the 2022 season with high expectations given it has long highlighted the year as a chance to move back to the front of the F1 grid given the opportunities of the rules overhaul implement for this year.

Should the team be successful in returning to championship-challenging form, Sainz, who has a best F1 result of second which he has taken twice (Italy 2020 and Monaco 2021), said he is “not scared about the pressure of fighting for wins”.

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He added: “Because it’s been my dream all my life – to be in the position to fight for a Formula 1 win or a championship.

“It’s something that I look forward [too], it’s something that I’ve worked for every time that I wake up, or I [when] go to bed I have it in the back of my mind.

“So, the time that this will come is something that I actually look forward to and not something that I’m scared about.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had an opportunity really to fight for wins or championships in Formula 1 and I would definitely accept it and take it on with me.

“Maybe only Monaco last year we had a real chance to fight for a pole position and a win – it was the first time in my career and I loved it. And I look forward [to getting] back to it.”

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