Another Audi F1 rumour and another Carlos Sainz denial, this time his team making it clear he has three plans for his future and they all include “Ferrari”.
Sainz is out of contract with Ferrari at the end of the 2024 season with the Spaniard linked to a move to Audi, a rumour that refuses to die down.
The 2022 British Grand Prix winner was initially linked to Sauber, who will become Audi in 2026, back in April with Sainz telling Marca that was an “uncorroborated and invented rumour” and that his “intention is to stay at Ferrari for many years”.
Carlos Sainz’s only plan ‘remains Ferrari’
Four months later he is again being linked to Audi, this time Auto Action reporting he has “already signed a pre-contract” to join the team in 2025 in the build-up to Audi’s arrival.
Going as far as to say his father Carlos Sainz Sr “may be playing a vital role” in the move given his ties to Audi, the report added that it “shows the Spaniard is considering his alternatives”.
But according to Sainz’s people, he’s not.
“Plan A is Ferrari. Plan B is Ferrari and plan C also remains Ferrari,” an unnamed member of his entourage told the Italian edition of Motorsport.com.
Sainz’s team boss Fred Vasseur was recently asked about his driver line-up and whether or not he wants to continue with the Spaniard and Charles Leclerc beyond 2025.
He replied to Corriere dello Sport: “Why not?
“But we will start talking towards the end of the season and they both know it well, I told them as soon as I arrived. Today the only priority is to develop the car.”
Vasseur’s comments were put to Sainz at Spa with the Spaniard agreeing Ferrari have “much bigger priorities” today “than negotiations for driver renewals.
“With so many consecutive races,” he continued, “I myself haven’t had the time to stop and really think about my future, by which I mean having a clear idea of what I want to do in the next two or three years.”
As for Leclerc, who has reportedly already signed a new deal with Ferrari that runs through to the end of 2026, he was asked about his team-mate preference and who, if not Sainz, he’d like sitting next to him.
He told the Italian publication: “Stop. I’m not answering that question. It would take a wrong turn.
“With Carlos, we work well, even though there is a lot of competition between us.”
He went on to cite his team-mate’s “working method and consistency” as his two biggest strengths.