Ferrari and Carlos Sainz are close to agreeing a new deal to keep the Spaniard at the team beyond 2022, but there is reportedly a disagreement over the length of the new contract.
Sainz signed from McLaren ahead of the 2021 season to replace the departing Sebastian Vettel, and he managed four podiums last campaign as he ended the year ahead of established team-mate Charles Leclerc.
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said at the end of last year that he was keen to open up a discussion with the 27-year-old about extending his contract beyond its expiry at the end of this season, but no agreement has yet been reached.
This is because Sainz has asked the team to give him a deal until the end of 2024, but the Scuderia are only willing to offer him one more year, according to a report by F1-Insider.
At Ferrari’s launch of their F1-75 ahead of the new season, Sainz had no news to give on the progress of the negotiations, but emphasised his desire to stay at the Maranello outfit.
“I have to say there’s nothing to say,” he said.
“We are both happy with the situation and want to continue working together.”
He reiterated that he wanted to put pen to paper “as soon as possible,” but “at the moment, however, nothing is sealed yet.”
Binotto responded at the event by telling him that he anticipates Sainz’s upwards trajectory to continue this year.
“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,” he replied.
After Sainz finished second at the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix behind Leclerc to start the season, Binotto divulged that an agreement had been reached, and that the only thing left to do was to make it official.
“We have agreed. The only thing left is to transfer this agreement that we have made to paper,” he explained.
The Spaniard added that the announcement of a new contract was not far away.
“I think we are close. Very close. Very, very close,” he said
“Shall we make the announcement then?” quipped Leclerc.
Since then though, there has been no further public advancement on the discussions, so ambiguity remains as to whether the two parties have indeed come to a satisfactory agreement.
As for the dynamic at the team, former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher believes that the Scuderia have “already established” the Monegasque as the number one after two wins in the opening three races, while Sainz suffered a horror weekend in Australia.