Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022

Sainz “extremely close” to new Ferrari deal

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Ferrari is poised to sign a new deal for Carlos Sainz Jnr to extend his stay at the team.

Asked about his future at the team following their one-two finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix, Sainz said they are “very close” to an agreement.

“Very, very close,” he continued. “Extremely close. Nearly there.”

Team principal Mattia Binotto confirmed the deal has been agreed. “We found an agreement it’s only a matter to translate it into paper.”

Sainz joined the team from McLaren at the beginning of last season on a two-year deal.

He enjoyed a successful start to life as a Ferrari driver, scoring four podium finishes over the course of last year and finishing ahead of highly-rated team mate Charles Leclerc in the championship. Sainz ended the season fifth, one place higher than he managed in each of his previous two campaigns at McLaren.

Despite taking second place behind his team mate in the season-opener yesterday, Sainz admitted during the weekend he hasn’t been as comfortable in the new F1-75 as Leclerc.

“For me it’s been a very tricky weekend,” he said after Sunday’s race. “I’m not going to lie. I didn’t have the pace today.

“But I managed to hold in there and bring the one-two for the team. I have some homework to do over these next few days and I’m sure I will come back stronger.”

However, he said the result shows Ferrari is “properly back” having gone two seasons without a win.

“I’m particularly happy for the whole team,” he said. “It’s massive, after two difficult years to be back and be on a one-two, it shows that all the hard work has just paid off and that we are back in the fight, back to where Ferrari should be.

“Congratulations to Charles because I think he drove a really good race. He’s been on it the whole weekend. So to bring home this one-two means a lot to all of us and to all the tifosi and for sure today, we need to celebrate because it’s a huge day.”

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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 “extremely close” to new Ferrari deal”

  1. I think that would be a great decision by the to get him tied down to a contract. As it stands, Ferrari appear to have a top tier driver in Leclerc and then a “Tier 2” driver in Sainz. Same applies to Mercedes with Hamilton and Russell. Red Bull are the outlier at the moment as they have a top tier driver but Perez hasn’t shown that he belongs in that next group. He’s a midfield driver like Bottas and when you’re in a close battle with other teams, it really costs you to have a driver who can’t get enough out of the car.

    I know it didn’t work too well the first time but if it was me, I’d be looking at giving Gasly another run in the car to see how he gets on. He seems to have improved a lot since being demoted and I think he’s got a lot more to offer than Perez now. No-one else on the grid (who would realistically be available in the next year or two) really stands out as a good option.

    1. @petebaldwin I couldn’t agree more with you, especially concerning Gasly.

    2. Sainz is a weird one as I think at his best he’ll beat Leclerc but his consistent performance level seems lower. He’s a great team player though and I think him and Leclerc are arguably one of the best partnerships on the grid.

      I agree that Gasly is worth a shot but I don’t know if he’d want to go back to Red Bull given how badly they treated him. I’d be tempted to look at Magnusson as the second driver in my team if I was Red Bull depending on how he goes for the rest of the year.

      1. @slowmo Gasly has previously said being willing to return & wanting another chance.
        I’m sure his tone has remained unchanged. He’s, after all, more experienced now (& will be by the 2023 season-opener) than he was three years ago, so he’d definitely be more ready & I’m also sure he’d forgive the 2019 treatment.

        1. At the end of the day it’s a chance to drive in a top team and Alpine haven’t looked like they’re going to be challenging anytime soon which is the only other chance he’d have to move to another team for the short term imo.

          1. @slowmo Alpine mightn’t really be a chance anymore as Piastri is a priority if Alonso re-retires.
            His options elsewhere are limited or outside the RB-owned teams generally.

    3. Perez is as good if not better than Sainz jr the same with Bottas and Gasly, Charles, Russell are at the same level just above them, and further above there is Max and Ham.

      1. Pretty sure leclerc is top tier, and not just because he won the last race ofc, for now a bit disappointed by russell, but my expectations were that he would match hamilton.

  2. A mere formality, but more relevantly, even though he wasn’t fast enough to challenge teammate in the season-opener, I’m sure he’ll also get a win(s) eventually.

    1. I bet Lewis is talking to them too to spread his chances. so might not be that strait forward.

  3. Not sure about Russell being on thé Top 2 tier just yet. Látifi is not the best benchmark, just look at Albon yesterday on his first race. I think he is good but maybe a bit of a hype.
    Sainz has deserved the extension, he ended P5 last season ahead of his teammate. Don’t write off him yet for this season as he ended second despite not feeling comfortable with the car, i suspect he will give Charles a run for his money.

  4. Leclerc and Sainz are a great driver pairing. It seems that people tend to rate Charles more highly but I think they’re pretty even overall. Sainz has more experience and is one of the most consistent drivers. It’ll be interesting to see which of them can become the #1 driver if they are indeed fighting for the WDC this year.

    1. Hopefully, Ferrari has already made that decision for them and they won’t be allowed to “discover” who is on top. Leclerc has to win the championship, can’t risk wasting points in squabbles.

    2. @dot_com Also Sainz appears better in wet-weather conditions and the like (not that we seem to be having many of those lately).

      1. someone or something
        21st March 2022, 20:40

        @david-br

        Also Sainz appears better in wet-weather conditions

        Does he?
        As you said, there hasn’t been a lot of rain lately, but:
        – in Imola, Leclerc beat Sainz
        (in Hungary, Leclerc ended up being Stroll’s bowling pin, so no comparison possible)
        – at Spa, Leclerc outqualified Sainz
        – in Russia, Sainz qualified miles ahead, but Leclerc only put in a token effort in qualifying, as he was due to start from the back. Sainz went on to finish a lap ahead, which is the one time you could argue he performed better in the rain, but it’s quite a bit more complicated than that, with Leclerc popping up in the podium places, despite his lowly grid position, as the rain began to fall. Leading Sainz by about half a minute at times, before committing to the same gamble as Norris and going under in the deluge that followed. Very difficult to draw any conclusions from that one.
        – in Turkey, Leclerc outqualified Sainz with ease, but this time it was Sainz who only put in a token effort because of a grid penalty.

        From what I can see, half of the time, there was no way to compare their performance in the wet because they were affected by other factors. The other half, Leclerc outperformed Sainz, if not by much.

        1. True, leclerc is no worse than sainz on the wet.

  5. “Bery close” Santander is about to become main sponsor.

  6. Smart move by Ferrari. They clearly just want to cement that all crucial best looking car/best looking drivers package.

  7. Charles is the clear number one, so they can really experiment with anyone to be honest.

  8. Super. Thoroughly deserved.

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