Ferrari expects ‘simple and easy’ Sainz contract talks

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto expects new contract talks with Carlos Sainz to be “simple and easy” during this off-season.

Sainz joined Ferrari at the start of 2021 and impressed throughout his first year with the team, scoring four podiums and finishing fifth in the drivers’ championship ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc. The Spaniard’s initial contract runs out at the end of 2022, and Binotto wants to tie him down to a longer-term deal this winter but is open to hearing what Sainz would be most comfortable with.

“With Carlos, I think it will depend on the discussions,” Binotto said. “I would like to sit down with him — I have not started the discussion with him yet.

“First I would like to understand how happy he is. You have a review with him on the season and look together at the future. It will be a simple and easy discussion.”

Although Sainz finished ahead of Leclerc in the final standings, Binotto says he has seen strong development from his other driver too, pointing to races such as Monaco — where he qualified on pole position but failed to start the race — as costing him a better final finishing position.

“For Charles’ overall performance, I’m very happy with the progress he has made this season. He’s been very fast in qualifying, even in the last part of the year when maybe Carlos was challenging him a bit more, but he has always been very fast.

“We should not forget at least a couple of examples, like Budapest and Monaco, when he didn’t score but I think he was unlucky on those occasions… at least 40 points missing in his classification.

“Without that I think he would have been a lot further ahead in the championship, which is why I can only judge his season very positively. He has learned how to manage his tires, how to manage race situations and race pace, so quite pleased on the progress he made.”