Just a week after the conclusion of the 2023 Formula 1 season and the driver market drama is kicking-off already, with Ferrari reportedly keeping an eye on Lando Norris.
It was reported by Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport that Charles Leclerc had signed a five-year contract extension, keeping him in red until the end of 2029.
However, a deal isn’t close to being finalised yet for Carlos Sainz, who is wanting a two-year extension.
Leclerc and Sainz’s current contracts expire at the end of 2024, with the Monegasque already knowing that his future beyond next season is finalised.
As for Sainz, this isn’t the case, as Ferrari reportedly only want to give him a one-year extension.
This would take him to the end of 2025, something which would open up a seat for 2026, when the new power unit regulations are introduced.
More importantly, though, Norris would be available as a free agent, as his McLaren deal concludes at the end of 2025.
Norris is a potential target for the Maranello-based side, whilst even Red Bull are believed to be watching the 23-year-old.
The British driver is comfortably one of the hottest stars in F1 currently, having achieved an impressive seven podiums in the recently completed campaign.
Many wonder what Norris would be capable of if given a car which can compete for consistent race wins, something McLaren are hoping to offer him next year.
Sainz is believed to have an option to go to Audi for 2026, when the German manufacturer complete their move into the paddock through Sauber.
By the end of 2025, Sainz would be 31 years old, whereas Norris will be only 25.
If Ferrari are wanting a young duo for the new power unit regulations which will remain in place for several years, then perhaps signing Norris is the way to go.
Although, the Italians will need to give the British driver a better package then McLaren can offer him.
As things stand, McLaren arguably have the better car, as proven by the fact that Norris claimed more than double the number of podiums that Sainz achieved.