Carlos Sainz has reiterated that he would like to remain with Ferrari beyond 2022, but cannot give any real update on the progress of his contract negotiations at this time.
Sainz stepped into the Maranello outfit alongside Charles Leclerc for the 2021 season, replacing four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel who moved to Aston Martin.
He was out-qualified 13-9 and out-raced 14-8 by the Monegasque, but his four podiums to his team-mate’s one helped him end the year fifth in the Drivers’ Standings, two positions clear of Leclerc.
It was a strong first year in red for the Spaniard, and a further indication of the prodigious talent and speed that he brought with him into Formula 1 in 2015 with Toro Rosso.
Ferrari revealed a “brave” design concept in their F1-75 car ahead of the 2022 campaign as Formula 1 embarks on a new ground effect-based aerodynamic era.
Following the official launch of the their 2022 car, Sainz was asked whether any significant progress had been made in his contract talks.
“I have to say there’s nothing to say,” he told the German edition of Motorsport.com.
The 27-year-old maintains “pretty clear” that the two parties would like to continue working together for the foreseeable future.
“We are both happy with the situation and want to continue working together,” he added.
Sainz’s team principal, Mattia Binotto, declared his adulation of the way his driver settled in at the Italian giants, and would like him to press on and further improve this year.
“I think when we met and we decided to go together more than a year ago, I think nobody would have expected you to be so fast very soon,” said the Italian.
“It has not been a surprise to us, but I think you fit very well in the new environment.
“Since the start of the season you improved and finished in a very strong manner. So I’m expecting you furthermore to raise the bar in 2022.”
Sainz and Leclerc guided Ferrari to third in the Constructors’ Championship last year, pipping McLaren at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
They will be hoping to break into the top two this year having reportedly overcome the 20-horsepower drop that is expected to come with F1’s new, more eco-friendly fuel blend.
However, former F1 car designer Gary Anderson recently stressed his concerns over the efficiency of their aggressive aerodynamic design.