Carlos Sainz has already explained F1 plan amid rumour he has signed Audi deal

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Could Carlos Sainz wave goodbye to Ferrari at the end of his current contract? (Image: Getty Images)
Could Carlos Sainz wave goodbye to Ferrari at the end of his current contract? (Image: Getty Images)

Carlos Sainz had already explained what his Formula 1 contract plan was before reports emerged claiming he had signed a pre-contract agreement with Audi.

For several months, the Spaniard has been linked with the German carmaker. Audi plans to enter the sport officially from 2026, having agreed a partnership with the Sauber team currently competing under the Alfa Romeo brand.

Sainz is under contract with Ferrari until at least the end of next season. And he has already rather grumpily denied a previous rumour that he is a top target for the Audi project.

But a fresh claim suggests the 28-year-old has signed a pre-contract with the German manufacturer. Australian magazine Auto Action claims it is a "non-binding commitment" which signals his intention to explore all his options.

Sainz, however, declared just a few weeks ago that he would not even begin to think about his future with Ferrari until the summer shutdown, which has only just begun. And he added that it would be the end of this season before he began to put together his 2025 plans.

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"In Ferrari, there are much bigger priorities than sorting out the future of its drivers," he explained. "With so many races consecutively, it is not like you can stop for a minute and really think about your future and what you want to do and what you see happening for you in the next two or three years. With so many back-to-back races, it is difficult.

"I am not going to lie, during the three-week break in August I will start thinking a bit about what I would be happy with, and then the winter break – which is what I said in an interview a while ago – will be the time to start figuring out where I will be racing in 2025.

"There are much bigger priorities, much more important things we need to sort out in the short term and that is my priority too, to be competitive with Ferrari not only this year but also next year – I still have a contract in place – and get next year's car right and getting better than where we are now."

And, speaking to that Australian magazine, Sainz sent a similar message. He told Auto Action: "I do prefer starting a season already knowing where I'm going to be the following year, because that takes away the distraction that there always is to be negotiating a new contract when you need to be fully focused on what you're doing on track and on the work you have to do with the team you're currently with.

"That's the only way to make progress. While it's still early days and the end of the season is still some four months away, it's true that once this championship will be over I'll fully focus on sorting my future. The goal is to go into the 2024 championship without any worries about it and my contract for the future already signed and sealed."

Daniel Moxon

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