Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur has reiterated his stance that a decision will be made on Carlos Sainz’s future before the end of the F1 2023 season.
Sainz has become a popular member of the team since replacing Sebastian Vettel at the beginning of 2021, claiming 13 podium finishes in red including his maiden F1 victory at the 2022 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
However, doubts have surfaced regarding the future of the Spaniard, whose current contract is due to expire at the end of next season.
Additional reporting by Sam Cooper
Ferrari to begin Carlos Sainz talks soon
In recent months Sainz has been heavily linked with a switch to the Sauber team in 2025 ahead of the Swiss outfit’s rebrand as Audi when the German manufacturer arrives in time for F1’s next major regulation change the following year.
Andreas Seidl, Sainz’s team boss throughout his two-year stint at McLaren in 2019/20, was appointed as the chief executive of Sauber Motorsport last year and is said to be playing a key role in smoothing Audi’s entry into the sport. Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu are the team’s current drivers, having both joined at the start of 2022.
Sainz has repeatedly expressed his desire to have his future resolved before the start of next season, vowing that talks over his future will become serious during F1’s winter break.
And addressing media including PlanetF1.com, Vasseur has insisted that Ferrari remain on the same wavelength as Sainz.
He said: “I think that, with Carlos, we are fully aligned.
“We had the same question a number of times and we always give the same reply, that we have time to discuss, that we still have 18 months of contract in front of us.
“We both want to start the next season with a clear situation in that we have to take action and [a] decision before the end of this season and we still have four or five months in front of us to decide.
“But we are fully, fully aligned on this point with Carlos and his management and we will have the discussion soon.”
In July, a report by Italian publication Corriere dello Sport claimed Ferrari were already bracing themselves for Sainz to leave at the end of 2024, with Williams driver Alex Albon identified as his replacement.
A fellow product of Red Bull’s junior scheme, Albon registered three points finishes – including a fine seventh place in Canada – in the first 12 races of this season.
Earlier this month, however, an unnamed member of Sainz’s entourage dismissed speculation that the 28-year-old’s future lies away from Maranello.
“Plan A is Ferrari, Plan B is Ferrari and Plan C also remains Ferrari,” the spokesperson was quoted as telling the Italian branch of Motorsport.com.