Carlos Sainz has hailed the “perfect scenario” of signing a new contract with Ferrari ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola.
Sainz signed for the Scuderia from McLaren following two seasons at the Woking side and, despite being out-qualified and out-raced by team-mate Charles Leclerc in his debut season with Ferrari last year, his outstanding consistency and four podiums helped him finish ahead of the Monegasque in the Drivers’ Standings.
But it was in truth an exquisite improvement from both drivers and the team as a whole to recover to third in the Constructors’ Championship following an abysmal 2020 campaign, and they are top of the championship in 2022 after two wins in three races for Leclerc.
It hasn’t been quite so smooth for the Spaniard, whose two podiums behind his team-mate preceded a horrible weekend in Australia, but the pressure of being out of contract at the end of the season has been alleviated, and he is delighted to be staying until at least the end of 2024.
“[I’m] very happy as you can imagine,” he said at the Drivers’ Press Conference in Imola.
“After such a good first year with Ferrari it was pretty straightforward that we wanted to continue together for another few years.
“The fact that I’ve just signed a new contract with the team of my dreams since I was a kid and that the fact that now this team is fighting for more important things, we are on the way up and we have a strong car, it’s just a perfect situation for me so I’m very excited for what’s coming and I’m looking forward for the future.”
The news came ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and it will be the first time since the return to the circuit in 2020 that fans will be in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so announcing the deal in Italy was ideal.
“It feels amazing, I think that was part of the beauty of announcing the contract extension here in Imola because we felt like it was a perfect occasion to do it,” he explained.
“Ferrari, Imola, full grandstands. It’s just the perfect scenario to try and put together a good weekend. I cannot wait and I can’t wait to give the fans a good time.”
Sainz’s new contract now means that both he and Leclerc are tied down to the Maranello squad until 2024.