In an unexpected turn of events, Carlos Sainz, not Charles Leclerc, clinched a Grand Prix victory for Ferrari in the 2023 season.
The Spanish driver, often considered the second fiddle at Ferrari, has been showcasing remarkable form in recent months, and his triumph in Singapore couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune moment.
As contract negotiations with the Italian team loom, Sainz’s future with Ferrari appears brighter than ever.
With two Grand Prix victories to his name now, Sainz has never concealed his desire to continue racing for Ferrari beyond the 2024 season.
The mutual affection between Sainz and Ferrari has been palpable, and recent reports of Audi’s alleged interest in the Spanish driver have added a new layer of intrigue to the negotiations.
Audi reportedly views Sainz, formerly of Toro Rosso, McLaren, and Renault, as the ideal candidate to aid Sauber’s transition into Audi’s factory team.
Carlos Sainz Sr., a prominent figure in the Dakar Rally who competes for Audi, has previously alluded to Audi’s interest in his son’s talents.
However, no substantive discussions have occurred between the parties. Carlos Sainz Jr. has chosen to remain tight-lipped regarding Audi, redirecting his focus primarily towards Ferrari.
During a conversation with Spanish media at a sponsorship event, Sainz Jr. reaffirmed his eagerness to engage in talks with Ferrari as a top priority.
He iterated his hope that decisive progress can be made during the winter break, expressing his aversion to entering an uncertain year concerning his future.
Sainz does not anticipate immediate contract negotiations in the upcoming weeks.
He rationalised, “Why rush into negotiations when we still have four tranquil months in the winter to contemplate?”
The Madrid native exudes confidence and does not appear unduly concerned about the process.
Even after his remarkable recent performances, Sainz maintains a pragmatic perspective, asserting, “When your sporting career is on an upswing, negotiations tend to be more favourable.
However, I don’t believe my recent races have altered the fundamental dynamic between Ferrari and me.
“The mutual respect remains intact.”