Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2022

Sainz was “laughing at home” at reports his Ferrari future was in doubt

2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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After confirming a new two-year deal to drive for Ferrari today, Carlos Sainz Jnr said he was amused by reports published elsewhere earlier this week which suggested his future at the team was in doubt.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said in late March the team was “extremely close” to finalising a new contract with Sainz, who joined them in 2020. Nonetheless some publications claimed two days ago Sainz and the team were at odds over a new deal.

“You can imagine how much I was laughing at home when people started writing these things because I had everything pretty much done and we were just waiting for Imola to announce,” said Sainz at the circuit today. “Funny times like always in Formula 1 with the gossip and all that.”

The new deal had been “super straightforward” to agree, said Sainz, who ended his first season with Ferrari fifth in the championship, ahead of team mate Charles Leclerc.

“To be honest it’s been easy going I guess after such a good first year like we had,” he said. “Just getting to agree through the winter was fairly easy for both parties.

“Now having the opportunity to announce in a place like Imola in front of the Tifosi on a weekend like this I think was ideal. So we put together a good plan for the announcement being here also.”

Sainz said it had been “key” to agree a two-year deal instead of a single-season contract extension. “I think it’s no secret recently that – not only me, I think you’re heard also other drivers saying – it’s important on the driver’s side to have the full mind focused on the performance, on the racing and not having to focus too much on what the future holds.

“For me, since I discovered this when I raced for McLaren, I’ve been very vocal towards it. Honestly I’ve been pretty sure all the winter that we were going to secure this so it’s not like I was worried in the first few races. But it always gives you that extra bit of a boost.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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20 comments on “Sainz was “laughing at home” at reports his Ferrari future was in doubt”

  1. I’m happy for Carlos Sainz, he’s a likeable guy and a talented driver who seems to work well with the team and his current team mate. It takes some pressure off both sides and sets up Ferrari well for a crucial season. It will be fascinating to see if rain at Imola, if we actually get some, changes the dynamic between the two Ferrari drivers this weekend.

  2. I’d be amused too, half the sponsors are his. Pay drivers generally don’t have much to worry about

    1. Was Alonso a pay driver at Ferrari? Is Perez a pay driver at Red Bull?
      I think the team and the sponsors benefit just as much as the driver (in these cases, as I don’t see how Latifi’s sponsors benefit).

      1. Yes, and yes.

      2. @macaque @proesterchen he has not kept his seat on the merits of his performances therefore he is a pay driver. Lewis, Max, Alo, might be very marketable but it is largely down to their talents.

        1. @peartree What an odd thing to say.

          First off, very few of the sponsors on the Ferrari are Sainz’s personal sponsors; it’s really only Estrella Galicia in terms of the major names on the car.

          Second, how do you say he hasn’t kept his seat on merit? He outscored Leclerc in his first season, and was very close on pace. Sure, he’s off to a relatively slow start this year, but even so he’s been consistently finishing ahead of the second Red Bull — surely that’s what Ferrari would be looking for as a baseline performance. When he finishes, Sainz has been putting the Ferrari roughly where it belongs, which is the podiunm.

          1. @exediron santander and stellantis wants to sell cars in Spain, also the Agnelli’s are friends with the Sainz. Sainz outscoring leclerc does not reflect well on leclerc, charles was for a good chunk of the season significantly quicker yet even thoufh he still beat sainz jr he failed to outscore him.

        2. @peartree Who could Ferrari realistically get who would be an upgrade on Sainz? Alonso? Too expensive, too old and there is history there. Bottas? Is he even an upgrade? Gasly, same again.

          1. @mashiat Ham; Alb; Ric; Nor; Oco; Rus; Alo; Ver; Piastri; Hulk

          2. @peartree You honestly think Hamilton, Ricciardo, Norris, Russell, Verstappen, and Piastri were realistic targets for Ferrari? And as for Albon, Ocon, and Hulkenberg, what evidence is there to support that they are better than Sainz? Hulkenberg might’ve edged Sainz in 2018, but Sainz has only improved since then while Hulkenberg has now gone 2 years without a drive. Sainz was on average 0.186s quicker than Hulkenberg in qualifying, while Ricciardo in 2019 was only 0.078s ahead of Hulk, and 0.220s ahead of Ocon in 2020.

          3. @mashiat first part, no. 2nd part “edged”? No point in keeping this going end. Hulk obliterated Sainz.

    2. @peartree This is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone referring to him as a so-called pay driver.
      However, in all honesty, every single driver has had a sponsor(s) at some point.

      1. He’s either trolling or really hates Sainz for some reason.

        I think Ferrari is happy that he’s a step behind Leclerc because they don’t have to deal with a destructive inter team battle. It’s no guarantee it won’t happen in the future, but I think Leclerc has a significant natural speed advantage. Sainz has a great work ethic and solid talent, which is enough to be usually be within a tenth or two and ahead at tracks he thrives at or when CL is off the boil. I could be completely wrong, but that’s just what my gut tells me.

        1. Why are you saying that it is either one or the other? Given the posting history of that poster, it’s probably both.

      2. @jerejj

        This is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone referring to him as a so-called pay driver.

        I don’t count multiple times. In light of his performances I have been calling him a pay driver for a very long time.

    3. Joker.

      1. Relax guys – this is the same guy (Facetious) who said Ferrari was the 4th fastest car after preseason testing!

        So we know how good of a pundit he is…

        1. I did say 3rd or 4th and I stand by it. When these cars get to the weight limit or somewhere around Spain, I still predict merc ahead then RB then ferrari.
          Wanna know how good of a pundit I am, check out my results for the predictions game. I always finish the season within the top 50, I’ve finished just outside the top 10 as well out of thousands.

  3. His excellent driver feedback helped with the successful development of the McLaren during his time there.
    I believe it is the same with the Ferrari now. Smart move by Ferrari!

  4. Luca Badoer is closer to that seat than Sainz losing it.

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