Carlos Sainz has warned Ferrari he may need to “look around” for another race seat for 2025.
Team boss Frederic Vasseur and Ferrari president John Elkann have both said in recent days that it is not yet a priority to negotiate new contracts with Sainz and Charles Leclerc beyond next season.
Spaniard Sainz, however, is nervous.
“I have to be honest,” he told Eurosport Italy. “I don’t like going into my last year of my contract not really knowing where I’m going to be racing the following year.
“I’ve experienced a similar situation before with both Red Bull and Renault, and I know it’s not ideal. It’s not the right thing.”
The 28-year-old indicated that he would like to sign up with Ferrari for 2025 and beyond.
“My priority, and my main goal, is to win with Ferrari one day. And I think I’ve made that clear a lot,” said Sainz. “And that’s why I’m giving them my priority this winter.
“If not, then it will be time to look around.”
His French boss Vasseur, however, said both Sainz and Leclerc headed into this season knowing full well that contract talks will only start “at the end of July”.
“Honestly, I hope they both stay,” he said.
Vasseur also told correspondent Leo Turrini at Quotidiano Sportivo that other top drivers are also not yet clear about their future plans – even for 2024.
“When does the contract between (Lewis) Hamilton and Mercedes expire?” he said. “Nothing is known about Lewis’s fate yet.
“We, on the other hand, have a contract with Charles and Carlos for the whole of 2024.”
As for Leclerc, he revealed in Austria that contract talks with Ferrari are in fact “gradually” beginning now.
And that came before the on-track action, in which Sainz appeared unhappy to have played the team game in deference to Leclerc that ultimately hurt his own race.
“Nothing is true about Ferrari favouring Leclerc,” Vasseur insists. “There would be no reason to do that.
“At the moment we know, and we all know, that the drivers don’t have a car to win. It is natural that this generates frustration in the driver. Obviously, during the winter, Charles and Carlos’ expectations were very different.”