Ferrari ‘fully aligned’ with Sainz on potential new contract

Carlos Sainz is out of contract with Ferrari at the end of 2024

Carlos Sainz is out of contract with Ferrari at the end of 2024 – Image: James Bearne/XPB

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur has confirmed discussions are due to start “soon” with Carlos Sainz over a potential new deal.

Like team-mate Charles Leclerc, Sainz still has another 18 months to run on a contract that was initially extended in April 2022 following his arrival at the Scuderia ahead of the 2021 campaign.

That has not stopped speculation regarding his future, which has included a link to Audi, even though the German manufacturer does not begin its F1 adventure until 2026.

Asked as to the prospect of fresh talks with Sainz starting this coming winter, Vasseur has indicated the likelihood a new deal will be sorted by the end of this season.

“With Carlos, we are fully aligned,” said Vasseur. “We have time to discuss. There are still 18 months of contract in front of us.

“We both want to start 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 another 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.”

Sainz, meanwhile, will step aside to give reserve Robert Shwartzman an outing in first practice for this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix.

As per the regulations, each of an F1 team’s two main drivers must sit out an FP1 to provide an opportunity to an up-and-coming driver.

Russian-Israeli Shwartzman has again been selected by Ferrari for the two outings this year, as was the case ahead of the United States and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix last season.

“Robert will do Zandvoort in Carlos’ car, and he will do another one, probably Abu Dhabi, in Charles’ car,” confirmed Vasseur.

As to why Zandvoort for Sainz, Vasseur replied: “It was the choice of the driver. I gave them the choice to do it where they wanted to do it.

“I know it’s not an easy situation. It’s not easy to decide because you can’t do it in Singapore, Japan, Las Vegas, and also, you have sprint events in Austin and Qatar, so (again) you can’t do it.

“Then you have the races where the tyre allocation is a bit different, so it’s also tricky to do it.

“It means that at the end of the day, you don’t have so many options.”

Vasseur has also revealed why Academy drivers Oliver Bearman and Arthur Leclerc, both currently competing in F2, were not being afforded an opportunity ahead of Shwartzman.

He said: “They have to be focused on the F2 championship.

“We will try to give them opportunities of testing either a 2021 car, or something else, before the end of the season, but I want to push them to stay focused on the F2 championship.”

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