Carlos Sainz sets deadline for future talks amidst Audi F1 pre-contract rumours

Michelle Foster
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, speaks to media in Austria. Spielberg June 2023.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz speaks to the media.

Despite slamming “invented” Audi rumours a few months back, reports linking Carlos Sainz to the Sauber team continue with the Spaniard said to have signed a pre-contract.

Earlier this season reports emerged claiming Sainz could say farewell to Ferrari at the end of his current contract, which expires at the end of the 2024 season, and head to Sauber, who become Audi in 2026.

The Spaniard wasn’t impressed and, stating he wants to continue with Ferrari for “many years”, he called the speculation “uncorroborated and invented rumours”.

Has Carlos Sainz signed a ‘pre-contract’ with Audi?

His denial has done little to quash the whispers with Auto Action reporting he has “already signed a pre-contract with Audi”, one that could see him racing for Sauber in 2025 in the build-up to Audi’s first season on the grid.

But going on to state that a pre-contract is “not a binding commitment”, but rather a statement of interest, “it shows the Spaniard is considering his alternatives” although an extension with Ferrari is “not discarded”.

According to the report, his father, rally legend Carlos Sainz Sr, “may be playing a vital role” in the negotiations given the double World Rally Champion’s links to Audi having raced for the manufacturer in the last two editions of the Dakar Rally. recommends

F1 driver contracts: What is the current contract status of every driver on the 2023 grid?

Revealed: The shortest F1 careers this century in the brutal world of Formula 1

Carlos Sainz sets deadline to get 2025 contract ‘signed and sealed’

Sainz told the publication he’s hoping to have his future resolved in the coming months.

“I do prefer starting a season already knowing where I’m going to be the following year,” he said.

“Because that takes away the distraction that there always is to be negotiating a new contract when you need to be fully focused on what you’re doing on track and on the work you have to do with the team you’re currently with.

“That’s the only way to make progress.

“While it’s still early days and the end of the season is still some four months away, it’s true that once this championship will be over I’ll fully focus on sorting my future.

“The goal is to go into the 2024 championship without any worries about it and my contract for the future is already signed and sealed.”

Read next: F1 2023 conclusions so far: ‘Warbot’ Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez crisis and more