Carlos Sainz was amused when he heard the rumours that he was at an impasse with Ferrari regarding his new contract, as he had already agreed a new deal when they surfaced.
Following an impressive debut season with the Scuderia in 2021, team principal Mattia Binotto affirmed that he wanted to sit down with the Spaniard over the winter to discuss a new contract.
As it was, it perhaps took a little longer than anticipated. His four podiums last season will have left many unsure as to why it took until partway through the 2022 season to put pen to paper on a new deal.
Ultimately though, it was always going to happen, and the 27-year-old commented at the launch of the F1-75 in February that he was keen to renew his partnership with the team of his dreams.
“We are both happy with the situation and want to continue working together,” he stated.
Binotto himself confirmed after the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix that everything had been agreed, and all they needed was a printer and a couple of pens.
“We have agreed. The only thing left is to transfer this agreement that we have made to paper,” said the Italian.
But reports emerged last week that the former McLaren driver was at odds with the team regarding the length of his new contract.
He was said to have been asking for two more years while the team were only prepared to give him one, but on Thursday, the Maranello side announced that their Spanish driver would join Charles Leclerc in having a contract that runs until at least the end of 2024.
Sainz had heard about the rumours and, given that he was merely waiting until a race in front of the Tifosi to announce the deal he had already signed, he found them rather funny.
“You can’t imagine how much I laughed when I read the rumours regarding the problems that would have occurred on my renewal, when I knew it was all done and we were just waiting for Imola to be able to announce it,” he said.
The weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix has not exactly been a celebration of his new deal though. Having already set a time good enough to get him into Q3 on Friday, the Spaniard found the wall after almost inexplicably pushing hard on a second run.
It leaves him with a substantial amount of work to do during Saturday’s sprint, but all is not lost for Sainz, as the finishing order in the sprint race defines the starting grid for Sunday’s grand prix.