Carlos Sainz, the Spanish driver currently under contract with Ferrari until 2024’s end, has been named as a potential recruit for Audi as the German automaker finalizes its acquisition of the Sauber team.
Nevertheless, in an exclusive sit-down with F1 Flow.com, Sainz debunked the prevailing rumors suggesting his possible association with Audi, stating he had had no talks with them.
Sainz instead vocalized his readiness to lengthen his tenure at Ferrari, as he is confident the team possesses the necessary ingredients for F1 success.
Although not in a hurry to initiate contract talks, he could wait till the following season, Sainz is determined to prevent the uncertainty of racing in 2024 without securing his F1 future.
Sainz candidly admitted, “I don’t enjoy entering my final contract year without certainty about my next year’s team.”
“I’ve experienced it with Red Bull and Renault, and as an athlete and a driver, I know it’s not ideal. That’s why I’ve marked this winter as a time to plan my future.
“My primary objective is to secure a victory with Ferrari one day, a point I believe I’ve made emphatically. That’s why I’m giving them priority this winter.
“If it doesn’t materialize, it will be time to explore other options. But, that’s my priority and what I want to sort out this winter.”
Sainz refuted speculation of him possibly shifting to Audi.
Photo by: Mark Sutton / F1 Flow Images
Sainz’s name has frequently been associated with Audi owing to his speed, experience, and strategic racing approach, making him a strong contender for its 2026 entry.
However, Sainz dismissed the stories of an impending deal as mere hearsay, suggesting they were possibly disseminated by individuals aiming for self-promotion.
“I genuinely believe there are weeks in F1 with not much news,” he commented. “It might be clickbait or smaller reporters trying to gain recognition and attract traffic to their pages with ‘I was the first to predict Carlos’s move to Audi in 2026.’
“I sincerely think it’s related to this, as I can’t comprehend the source of these rumors. It doesn’t mean I will or will not move; it’s uncertain. But I know for sure that currently, I’m not in discussions with anyone else except Ferrari.”
Despite Ferrari’s recent challenges, including the inconsistent performance of its SF-23 in races, Sainz remains positive about the team’s potential for recovery.
He maintains that the factory’s approach and mindset align perfectly with what he believes are the keys to improving on-track performance.
“I believe the team is in good shape,” he said. “We’re still undergoing internal changes since Fred [Vasseur] joined. We are restructuring, but the synergy between the factory and the race team is solid. That’s why I’m not worried about any misunderstanding in the team.
“The focus is to decipher the reasons for our slow race pace. Once we have that figured out, it will significantly simplify things for everyone.”
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Carlos Sainz Ferrari Contract Extension
When does Carlos Sainz’s current contract with Ferrari end?
Carlos Sainz’s current contract with Ferrari is set to conclude at the end of 2024.
What are the rumors about Sainz and Audi?
There have been rumors suggesting that Carlos Sainz might join Audi after its takeover of the Sauber team. However, Sainz has dismissed these speculations, stating there have been no discussions with Audi.
What is Sainz’s priority regarding his F1 future?
Carlos Sainz has expressed a strong desire to extend his contract with Ferrari. He wants to avoid uncertainty about his future in 2024 and hopes to secure a new contract by winter.
Has Sainz faced a similar situation with contract uncertainty before?
Yes, Sainz experienced similar contract uncertainty during his tenure with Red Bull and Renault. He stated that he found the experience to be non-ideal as an athlete and a driver.
What are Sainz’s views on the performance of the Ferrari team?
Despite the recent challenges faced by Ferrari, Sainz is optimistic about the team’s potential for recovery. He has faith in the factory’s approach and mindset and believes that understanding the reason behind their slow race pace will lead to improvements.
What does Sainz think about the rumors linking him to Audi?
Sainz dismissed the rumors as baseless and possibly the work of smaller journalists trying to gain notoriety. He clarified that he’s currently not in talks with anyone other than Ferrari.