Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko believes Ferrari have “other problems” than worrying about rumours surrounding the future of Carlos Sainz.
A report surfaced earlier in the week that the Spaniard had emerged as a potential candidate for a seat with the Audi works team for when they arrive in the sport in 2026, but Sainz himself is believed to be angry about the “invented” rumours linking him with a move away from Ferrari.
Besides, Marko – who helped begin Sainz’s Formula 1 career by placing him in a seat with Toro Rosso – believes it “doesn’t make any sense” for Sainz to leave the Scuderia at this time anyway, given the job he is doing with the team currently.
But away from the two drivers, the Red Bull motorsport advisor believes Ferrari have other things to be focusing on, given their tough start to the 2023 season.
“Today, anyone can more or less post something on the internet. Reports can no longer be controlled,” Marko told F1-Insider.com in commenting on the rumours.
“Why should Ferrari part with Carlos? That doesn’t make any sense. Carlos is doing a good job. Ferrari has other problems than thinking about Sainz.”
Neither Ferrari driver has finished on the podium so far in 2023, with Charles Leclerc having taken only six points after retiring from two of the first three races – a sharp contrast from winning two of the opening three rounds of 2022.
Leclerc and Sainz both see their contracts with Ferrari expire at the end of 2024, and Marko believes a performance clause in Leclerc’s contract will be in place if he wants to leave the team before the end of his deal.
“These performance clauses are common today,” he said. “It roughly says that a driver must have a certain number of points at a certain point in the season, usually in late summer, for the contract to be automatically extended.
“If this is not the case, both parties have the option to terminate the contract. In 2015, our Sebastian Vettel was able to switch to Ferrari so easily for this reason.”
Sainz saw a fourth place finish stripped from him at the Australian Grand Prix after a five-second time penalty dropped him out of the points, with Ferrari losing a recent appeal to a right of review into his punishment.
Ferrari currently sit a distant fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, already 97 points behind runaway leaders Red Bull and 30 points off Mercedes in third.