No Binding Agreement
The Formula 1 driver market is quietly moving behind the scenes, less tumultuous compared to the summer break of 2022, which was stirred up by the Oscar Piastri case following Fernando Alonso’s move to Aston Martin. Nevertheless, the silly season is underway, with a focus on the medium term for some drivers of the top teams.
While Charles Leclerc seems close to renewing with Scuderia Ferrari, the same cannot be said for Carlos Sainz. Despite sending clear messages to team principal Frederic Vasseur, the Spanish driver doesn’t seem to have received any openness from the management of Scuderia Ferrari to discuss a possible contract extension beyond the 2024 Formula 1 campaign.
According to Auto Action, Carlos Sainz has already signed a pre-contract with Audi, set to join the team that will still be Sauber in 2025 before the Four Rings brand’s entry into Formula 1 in 2026. Pre-contracts in Formula 1 are common practice, and teams often sign such agreements with three or four drivers to have priority in case of actual need. Pre-contracts are not binding, but they represent a first step towards other teams.
“I prefer to start a season already knowing where I will be the following year,” reiterated Carlos Sainz, as reported by the Australian publication. “The goal is to reach the 2024 championship with no worries and a contract for the future already signed and sealed.” – the Ferrari man pointed out.
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Carlos Sainz’s father, Carlos Sainz Sr., is part of the Audi Dakar project and undoubtedly knows all the key people within the company’s motorsport structure, providing him with privileged information about their F1 program. In the past, the rally and Dakar legend played a crucial role during his time at Red Bull, obtaining Dietrich Mateschitz’s support for Carlitos’ career against the wishes of Helmut Marko – a unique case in the Red Bull young driver program. Now, at 61 years old, he might once again play a vital role in his son’s future in Formula 1.