Carlos Sainz has renewed his contract with Ferrari until the end of 2024 after an impressive first season with the Scuderia.
The Spaniard managed four podiums in 2021 and, despite being out-qualified 13-9 by team-mate Charles Leclerc, his strong haul of results saw him finish the season fifth in the Drivers’ Championship.
The Scuderia pipped McLaren to third in the Constructors’ Standings, and team principal Mattia Binotto suggested that he wanted to sit down with the 27-year-old over the winter to discuss an extension to his current deal which expires at the end of 2022.
Those talks have now taken place after reports recently that the Scuderia were only willing to give him one more year when he was asking for two.
Sainz said in Bahrain that he was “very close” to agreeing to new terms, and he has put pen to paper on a contract that sees him remain at Ferrari for another two years, the same length as the deal Leclerc has.
The Spaniard revealed his joy at continuing what has been a satisfactory relationship with the Maranello squad since he signed from McLaren last year.
“I am very happy to have renewed my contract with Scuderia Ferrari,” he revealed in a statement.
“I have always said that there is no better Formula 1 team to race for and after over a year with them, I can confirm that putting on this race suit and representing this team is unique and incomparable.
“My first season at Maranello was solid and constructive, with the whole group progressing together. The result of all that work has been clear to see so far season.”
It is possible that Sainz’s deficit to Leclerc this year has been a consequence of the pressure behind being out of contract at the end of the current season, but the trust and support expressed in the form of a new contract will do wonders in helping him forget the nightmare weekend he suffered in Australia.
“I feel strengthened by this renewed show of confidence in me and now I can’t wait to get in the car, to do my best for Ferrari and to give its fans plenty to cheer about,” he added.
“The F1-75 is proving to be a front-runner, which can allow me to chase my goals on track, starting with taking my first Formula 1 win.”
Binotto is delighted with the dynamic he has at his team, as well as the performance of his drivers.
The comradery was there for all to see when the Italian consoled Sainz following his hugely unfortunate qualifying in Melbourne, and the 27-year-old joined in the celebrations with race winner Leclerc even after an amalgamation of injudicious car problems and key mistakes had sent him out of the grand prix early on.
“I have said several times that I believe we have the best driver pairing in Formula 1 and so, with every passing race, it seemed a completely natural step to extend Carlos’ contract, thus ensuring stability and continuity,” said Binotto.
“In his time so far with the team, he has proved to have the talent we expected from him, delivering impressive results and making the most of all opportunities.”
The 52-year-old divulges that Sainz is meticulous in his approach, and relentless in his efforts, factors which implored the team to extend his deal.
“Outside the car, he is a hard worker with an eye for the smallest detail, which has helped the whole group to improve and progress,” he added.
“Together, we can aim for ambitious targets and I’m sure that, along with Charles, he can play a significant part in fuelling the Ferrari legend and will write new chapters in the history of our team.”
Ferrari lead the Constructors’ Championship by 39 points from Mercedes, and Sainz will enter the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix this weekend boosted by his new deal.