Reiterating that reports linking him to Audi are nothing but “clickbait”, Carlos Sainz insists his priority is to “win one day with Ferrari”.
Two months ago Sainz was linked to Audi, set to be Formula 1’s newest constructor as of 2026 with the company taking over the Sauber operation.
Sainz reacted to that report with anger, the Spaniard saying it “angers me when uncorroborated and invented rumours come out.”
That, though, has done little to quieten the speculation with the driver potentially making up one half of an all-Spanish line-up with Fernando Alonso after Sauber’s managing director Alessandro Alunni Bravi said he’d “always sign” the double World Champion.
But Sainz is adamant Audi is not his future, the rumours are just “clickbait” stories.
“I honestly think there are weeks in F1 where there’s nothing to talk about,” said the 28-year-old.
“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.”
Next season marks the Spaniard’s final year under his current contract with Sainz, and Charles Leclerc, both signed through to the end of 2024.
But while that’s not a comfortable position for Sainz, he is adamant he only wants to speak with Ferrari about 2025.
“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.
“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.”
Eight races into this season and Sainz has yet to finish on the podium with his best result his P4 at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
As such he is P5 on the 2023 Drivers’ log with 68 points, 127 behind championship leader Max Verstappen.