Carlos Sainz has opened up on the speculation surrounding his future at Ferrari, as he enters the final year of his existing contract.
The Spaniard is entering his final year confirmed with Ferrari but, with plenty of speculation surrounding his and Charles Leclerc’s future with the team, Sainz has made it very clear that his main ambition is to remain with the Scuderia beyond the end of 2024.
Relations between Sainz and Ferrari are strong, and Fred Vasseur confirmed at last week’s Ferrari Christmas lunch that there is hope to have both Sainz and Leclerc’s futures confirmed before the start of the 2024 F1 season in March.
Carlos Sainz: We have three months to agree
Sainz, speaking at a pre-Christmas sponsor event on behalf of Estrella Galicia in Madrid, wouldn’t be drawn into the speculation about what may be on the table for him.
“There is talk about what they’re offering me, but it’s being said without knowing and I’m not going to speculate,” Sainz said.
Some rumours have speculated a very lucrative long-term deal for Leclerc, but that generosity may not be extended to Sainz – with some suggestions being that he may only be given a single-year extension.
But Sainz said he feels valued by team boss Vasseur, and is hopeful of securing a long-term deal similar to the one mooted for Leclerc.
“We have to agree, and we have three months ahead of us to do it,” he said.
“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.”
Speaking last week, Vasseur said he has no intentions of treating his drivers equally – on track, at least.
“We have two drivers who finished with almost the same score [in 2023],” Vasseur pointed out.
“We had been here talking about first driver and second driver and I had assured them that they would be treated equally. And I think we have proved that.”
Speculation has also linked Sainz with a possible future at Audi when the German marque enters the sport with Sauber in 2026, but Sainz says his number one priority is to remain with Maranello – provided that he feels that sense of value continues.
“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 remarked.
“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.”