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Formula 1 Canadian GP

Sainz sets winter target to sort new Ferrari F1 contract, denies Audi talks 

Carlos Sainz wants his Ferrari Formula 1 future sorted this winter, as he does not want to go into next year without a 2025 deal in place. 

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

The Spaniard, whose current contract with the Italian team runs until the end of 2024, has already been singled out as a potential candidate to join Audi when the German manufacturer completes its takeover of the Sauber squad. 

However, in an exclusive interview with Autosport, Sainz said that current speculation linking him with Audi was wide of the mark as there had been no discussions with it. 

Instead, Sainz says he is ready and willing to commit to a longer deal at Ferrari as he believes the squad has everything needed to deliver success in F1. 

While he does not need to rush discussions and could wait until next season to sort things out regarding a new contract, Sainz is clear that he wants to avoid competing in 2024 without knowing where his F1 future lies. 

“I'm not going to lie, I don’t like going into my last year of a contract without really knowing where I'm racing the next year,” he said. 

“I went through that process both with Red Bull and Renault, and I know it’s not ideal as an athlete, and as a driver. It's just not the right thing. And that's why I have put this winter as a reference to try and figure out my future.  

“My priority, and my main goal, is to win one day with Ferrari. And I think I've made that clear, very, very often. And that's why I will give my priority to them this winter.  

Sainz has denied rumours linking him to a move to Audi.

Sainz has denied rumours linking him to a move to Audi.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“If not, it will also be time to look elsewhere. But that's my priority and what I want to sort out in the winter.” 

Sainz has found himself linked to Audi several times, with his speed, experience and intelligent approach to racing making him a lead candidate for its entry in 2026. 

However, Sainz thinks stories that a deal is being lined up are not based on reality, and instead have been thrown out there by individuals hoping to make a name for themselves. 

“I honestly think there are weeks in F1 where there's nothing to talk about,” he said. “I don't know if it's clickbait or maybe smaller journalists trying to bring a story to gain notoriety, and make their smaller page more successful because they can say: 'I was the first one to say Carlos was at Audi in 2026'.  

“I honestly think it's something related to that, because I don't understand where the rumours come from. It doesn't mean I will go, or will not go, it's impossible to say. But I know by fact that right now, I'm not talking with anyone else that is not Ferrari.” 

While Ferrari has endured some challenges this season, with its SF-23 struggling for consistency in races, Sainz is convinced it has the capacity to recover. 

He says that the mindset and approach back at the factory are exactly what he believes is needed for it to unlock the answers required to improve its on-track performance. 

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“I think the team is in a good state,” he said. “We're still going through some changes internally, as you've seen since Fred [Vasseur] arrived.  

“There's been a few changes here and there that we are reorganising. But the way the factory works in combination with the race team, I think it's in a good spot. That's why I don't think there is any lack of understanding at the team. This doesn't worry me.  

“It is really focusing on understanding the magic bullet of why are we slow in the races. Once we understand that, everything will be a lot easier for everybody.”

 

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