Carlos Sainz has revealed his ideal roadmap to secure his F1 future with Ferrari in order to put an end to speculation about his seat once and for all.
Questions about the Spaniard’s future with the Scuderia have resurfaced in recent weeks, especially after Lewis Hamilton was linked with replacing him on a £40m-a-year deal – rumours that now appear to have no substance to them.
However, it still raises an important area of discussion around Sainz and whether Ferrari will still view him as the perfect team-mate to Charles Leclerc in the years to come.
Sainz currently has a contract with Ferrari until the end of next season and the former Toro Rosso, Renault and McLaren driver ideally wants to be heading into that campaign with negotiations over a new deal all concluded.
“I don’t want to reveal my contract negotiation strategies because that’s something I never reveal,” Sainz told reporters in Monaco.
“But if you’ve heard my interviews in the past, I’ve always said that I like to start the season knowing where I’ll be racing next year because I went through that experience at Renault and it didn’t suit me at all.
“It is not necessary to get a contract this year, but at least before the beginning of next year or at the very beginning of it.”
With Sainz’s performances so far this season not doing much to quieten down the talk surrounding his future, a move to Audi another rumour which has surfaced in 2023, the 28-year-old is not letting himself be affected by the ongoing speculation.
“Honestly no, because in the end I don’t think it’s necessary,” Sainz added.
“I know that at this time of year there are always rumours like this, it’s the time of the silly season. I’ve been in F1 long enough, over eight years, to know it’s that time of the year.”
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Prior to the Monaco Grand Prix, Sainz revealed that he still feels “really at home” with Ferrari and that is what his sole focus is on.
“I know there’s still two very important years ahead of us,” he told The Race, “and I think further up than that would be stupid to talk about.
“But I feel I still have yet to achieve my full potential as a driver. And I feel like at least here I’ve already done another good step in the right direction.
“My immediate future, I only see it with Ferrari and wanting to be successful with this team. There’s nothing that would make me happier than winning again with Ferrari, than mounting a title challenge with Ferrari.
“If you win it or not, it’s a championship fight. You can come out on top or not. But mounting that challenge is short- and medium-term what really motivates me.
“I feel really at home with the team. There’s a good atmosphere. I know there’s a lot of noise around, but I see the factory myself, and everyone in a good place right now.”