Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur has admitted that the Italians are “behind” on their contract talks with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, despite recent rumours on both of their futures.
Leclerc and Sainz currently both have deals which expire at the end of 2024, although Leclerc has reportedly agreed a record-breaking extension.
According to several reports, Leclerc has agreed a five-year extension with the Maranello-based outfit, the longest deal ever offered to a driver by Ferrari.
If signed, Leclerc will remain in red until at least the end of 2029, when he’ll be 32 years old.
This would make him the most contractually secure driver on the grid, an accolade currently held by Max Verstappen, whose Red Bull deal concludes at the end of 2028.
Sainz signing a new deal is believed to have reached a difficult talking point, as the Spaniard reportedly wants a two-year contract.
The 29-year-old was the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race this year at the Singapore Grand Prix, yet Ferrari reportedly only want to offer a one-year extension.
It’s rumoured that this is so a seat is available potentially for Lando Norris in 2026, who is without a contract for the new power unit regulations as things stand.
Sainz is also speculated to have a pre-contract agreement with Audi, who are entering F1 in 2026, by at which point they’ll have a 75 per cent stake in Sauber.
Despite all the rumours and reports, Vasseur accepts that contract talks aren’t as far along the line as he would’ve liked by now but that everything will still be sorted before the 2024 F1 campaign gets underway.
“They were exhausted, but we all are,” Vasseur said, as quoted by Formu1a.uno. “After Abu Dhabi there was testing, then an event in Saudi Arabia and then back here to work on the simulator. Now it’s good to have 2-3 weeks off.
“The aim is to renew them before next season, yes.
“The last part of the year was a bit of a chaos and we have only recently started the renewal discussions. We are behind Mercedes, which announced the renewals of both its drivers in August, but this is not a problem.”