Ferrari boss expects Sainz contract negotiations to be ‘easy’

Carlos Sainz finished best of the rest in 2021, ending the season fifth in the Drivers' Championship in his first year with Ferrari.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz at 2021 Abu Dhabi GP.v1

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has “no doubt” that contract negotiations with Carlos Sainz will run smoothly, as the Scuderia seek to tie the Spaniard up beyond the end of this year.

Sainz joined the team from McLaren following the culmination of the 2020 season to replace Sebastian Vettel, who joined Aston Martin.

The Scuderia had finished three positions behind the British team in the Constructors’ Championship that season, but marked improvements saw Ferrari end 2021 in third, pipping McLaren in the final round in Abu Dhabi.

Sainz impressed many in the paddock in his maiden season with Ferrari, with him outscoring team-mate Charles Leclerc in 2021.

The Spaniard managed to score points in 20 of the 22 races over the course of the season, including 15 consecutively.

He was out-qualified 13-9 by Leclerc, in what was a highly competitive year between the two.

As such, Binotto has affirmed that he would like to put pen to paper on a new contract for Sainz soon, with his current Ferrari contract running out at the end of 2022.

READ: Norris on Ferrari’s struggles: ‘I don’t think they’ve had a terrible car’

Binotto does not think that negotiating a new deal for Sainz will be difficult.

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“It will be, I think, an easy discussion, no doubt, but so far we have not started.” Binotto said.

Mattia Binotto speaking about Ferrari's 2022 F1 car.v1

He added that he would like to strike a deal that works well for both parties and reiterated that they are yet to begin discussions surrounding a contract extension for Sainz.

“I would like to sit down with him, I’ve not started yet the discussion with him.

“I don’t know what he’s got in mind as well as him, Carlos, as a driver. So today, there is not an answer to that.”

Continuing, the 52-year-old said: “First I would like to understand how he’s pleased, have a review of him with the season and look together to the future.

“As we said I think in the last race, we will discuss through the winter time the extension of his contract.”

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Binotto added that he was impressed by the way in which Sainz adapted to life at his new team, and is delighted by the Spaniard’s efforts in his debut year in red.

“We’ll sit down with time and try to understand. Certainly I think he did very well during the season, [we are] very happy the way that he has integrated, the way that he has been performing on-track and during the race weekends.

“So no doubt that we’ll sit down and try to find an agreement. That will be part of the winter period.”

Sainz ended the season fifth in the Drivers’ Standings, narrowly beating Lando Norris and Leclerc, who finished sixth and seventh, respectively.

He achieved four podiums over the course of 2021, including one at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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