Sainz in line for Ferrari F1 contract renewal over winter

Carlos Sainz is set to be rewarded with an extended Ferrari contract during Formula 1’s winter break following an impressive debut season with the team. 
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari celebrates his third position on the podium.
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari celebrates his third position on the podium.

The Spaniard joined Ferrari from rivals McLaren on an initial two-year deal running until the end of the 2022 campaign and has adjusted to life quickly at Maranello. 

Sainz claimed four podiums during his first season with Ferrari and secured fifth place in the championship, five and a half points clear of teammate Charles Leclerc.

Speaking at Ferrari’s traditional pre-Christmas news conference, team principal Mattia Binotto confirmed he hopes to negotiate an extended contract with Sainz before the start of the 2022 season. 

"With Carlos, we will discuss through the winter time the extension of his contact," Binotto said. "He worked very well during the season. I'm very happy with the way he integrated and has been performing on track.” 

A two-year extension would mirror the contract of Leclerc, who is currently tied down to Ferrari until the end of 2024.

Ferrari has a number of juniors vying for a possible future seat, including Mick Schumacher, who will combine his full-time drive at Haas in 2022 with a shared role as Ferrari’s official reserve driver

Asked about the potential length of a new contract for Sainz, Binotto said: “I think it will depend on the discussions. 

“I would like to sit down with him. I have not started yet the discussion with him, I don't know what he's got in mind as well.  So to date, there is not an answer to that. 

“First I would like to understand how he's pleased. You have a review with him on the season and look together at the future. It will be a simple and easy discussion, no doubt, but we do not have an answer for you.” 

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-21 leads team mate Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-21.
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-21 leads team mate Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP)…

Binotto added he is “very happy” with the performances of Leclerc this season. 

The Monegasque scored back-to-back pole positions in Monaco and Baku and played a key role in helping Ferrari beat McLaren to third place in the constructors’ championship. 

“He’s been very fast in the qualifying, even in the last part of the year when maybe Carlos was challenging him a bit more – but he has always been very fast,” Binotto said. 

“We should not forget this season, at least a couple of examples, like Budapest and Monaco, when he didn’t score. I think he has been unlucky as a driver in those occasions and without that it is difficult to say where he would have finished – but at least 40 points [is] missing in his classification. 

"Without that I think he would have been a lot further ahead in the championship, which is why I can only judge very positively his season. He has learned how to manage his tyres, how to manage race situations and race paces, so quite pleased on the progress he made.” 

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