Although Carlos Sainz’s “plan A” is a multi-year extension with Ferrari, AS reports he has options for the future and they’re “not only Audi”.
Despite being the only driver outside of Red Bull to win a race last season when he held off Lando Norris at the Singapore Grand Prix, it was Charles Leclerc and not Sainz who Ferrari confirmed as their long-term driver in the announcement earlier this week.
Signing the Monégasques on a new multi-year contract, one that will reportedly keep him at the Maranello team until 2029, there was no mention of Sainz in the press release.
Carlos Sainz has ‘has offers and declared interest from other teams’
That’s because he has yet to iron out details with Ferrari.
The 29-year-old has made it clear he wants a multi-year deal, and “not just two”, while Ferrari are alleged to only be offering him one for 2025.
But perhaps buoyed by the announcement that Lando Norris, said to be a Ferrari target, has committed his long-term future to McLaren, Spanish daily AS reports there is “no nervousness” in the Sainz camp.
That’s in part because he has several options for his Formula 1 future, “not” just Audi.
The publication claims that “sources who know the Italian house well indicate that a one or two-year contract is being worked on, although important points still need to be resolved.
“Sainz, 29, will have driven four years for Ferrari from his arrival in 2021 until the end of his current contract. His priority, he himself has underlined, is to renew with the Italians for a long time.
“But there is plan A and also plan B.
“He has offers and declared interest from other teams such as Audi, which will enter the championship by absorbing the Sauber structure from 2026. But not only Audi.”
The publication went on to state that only five drivers outside of Ferrari have confirmed contracts for the 2025, leaving the likes of Sergio Perez’s “highly coveted car” at Red Bull and also Fernando Alonso’s “Aston Martin” seat open.
And of course, Audi who will take over the Sauber team in 2026 and have close ties to the Sainz family having won the 2023 Dakar Rally with the F1 driver’s father, Carlos Sainz Snr.
He believes Audi can do the job in Formula 1, telling Motor.es: “I think it will only be a matter of time [before they succeed in F1]. I don’t have a crystal ball, but if Audi has all my respect and I think they are also putting all the ingredients in place for it to be a good project.
“As you would expect at Carlos’ place, with me being part of the Audi family, it’s logical that we talk and exchange views on what the Audi team can be in the future.”
So while Sainz waits for Ferrari, AS concludes “he is not tied to Ferrari”.