Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said finalising a new deal for Carlos Sainz is only a matter of putting it in writing, as they believe they have come to an agreement for him to continue with the team.
Sainz’s current Ferrari deal is due to expire at the end of 2022, but has impressed alongside Charles Leclerc in his time with the Scuderia so far – out-scoring his team-mate in 2021 and securing fifth in the Drivers’ Championship after a remarkably consistent campaign in his first season at Maranello.
He finished second behind Leclerc in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix at the weekend, topping off a near-perfect weekend for Ferrari as Formula 1’s new era got underway.
Such has been the quality of his performances, Ferrari have been keen to secure Sainz’s services beyond the end of the year – and an announcement may not be far away.
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“I think we found an agreement,” Binotto said on Sky F1 on Sunday. “It’s only a matter to translate it into paper.”
Sainz himself backed up the view of his team boss, making a new contract sound as though it’s only a matter of time.
“I think we are close,” he added. “Very close. Very, very close. Very close. Extremely close. Nearly there.”
Sainz and Leclerc are well aware that they may end up fighting against each other for this year’s World Championship, such is the early pace of the F1-75.
One of the key issues Ferrari seems to have mostly eradicated is that of porpoising, which is the bouncing sensation caused with the ground effect aerodynamics effectively ‘sucking’ the car down to the track surface – leading to plenty of bumpy rides during testing throughout the field.
Sainz said the team were able to cope with the demands of Bahrain with their current level of porpoising, but predicts that Saudi Arabia could bring separate issue this weekend.
“Not the smoothest of rides, but you definitely can complete a race distance with the amount of porpoising that we had, that we actually had a bit, both in qualifying and in the race, but I see some other tracks that could bring the issue,” said the Spaniard.
“Best example is Jeddah and we need to see how much progress we’ve actually done since Barcelona because the tarmac there is a lot closer and the type of bouncing could be closer to Barcelona that we struggle a lot more and we need to analyse how much we’ve moved on since then.
“But [I have] full trust the team is doing everything they can because they know there’s performance on it. And we are trying to solve it completely.”
Ferrari ‘find agreement’ with Sainz over new deal
Mattia Binotto has given an update surrounding Carlos Sainz's Ferrari contract.