Carlos Sainz’s Contract Gets Stalled Amid Charles Leclerc’s “Dream” Multi-Year Renewal With Ferrari

Published 01/25/2024, 10:27 AM EST

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Charles Leclerc was in the rumors to get a 5-year contract extension with Ferrari for some time now. The new deal was supposed to end up paying the Monegasque a handsome salary of $50 million by the end of the new contract. According to a recent social media update, Leclerc has finally signed the new deal, securing his place with the team beyond the 2026 regulations shift. However, Carlos Sainz‘s contract extension talks have been stalled.

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With five wins and 23 pole positions under his belt since he joined the Scuderia in 2019, Leclerc’s performances on the track have been a highlight, showcasing his natural talent behind the wheel. Despite the challenges faced in recent seasons, the 26-year-old driver is determined to return to winning ways while driving for Ferrari, with hopes for a successful 2024 season. Where does that leave Sainz though?

Carlos Sainz may not get a contract extension after all

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Ferrari’s focus on Charles Leclerc is similar to how other top teams operate. Just like Red Bull has done with Max Verstappen and Mercedes has done with Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari has centered their team around Leclerc, securing a long-term contract with the Monegasque. Although the duration of the new contract was not mentioned specifically, one can imagine it would be no less than a 4-year extension.

In contrast, Carlos Sainz, despite being an exceptional driver, never had the opportunity to lead a team. While he has contributed to Ferrari’s occasional success, case in point–Singapore 2023, there’s a perception that he is not up to the level of Leclerc when it comes to having a team built around you.

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The news of the contract extension came from the Monegasque himself. He took to Instagram to express gratitude for Ferrari’s continued faith in him. He wrote, The Dream Continues. Grateful to announce that I will continue my adventure in red. ❤️ @ScuderiaFerrari”

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Is Ferrari looking to replace Sainz with Alex Albon in 2025?

Carlos Sainz was the only non-Red Bull driver who managed to win in 2023. However, Charles Leclerc outscored him at the end of the season. Leclerc’s outright pace in qualifying and his ability to deliver even with sub-par machinery makes him a standout in Formula 1.

Although his ability to accumulate points, capitalize on opportunities, and maintain consistency positions the Spaniard as a valuable asset for the team, his preference for a radically different car setup compared to Leclerc makes it difficult for the team to approach a particular development cycle for their cars. This is where Alex Albon comes into the picture.

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Albon has excelled in F1 since his return with Williams in 2022. And while Sainz may be an outright faster driver than Albon (which is debatable), Albon’s driving style, which is similar to Leclerc’s, known since their time as F2 teammates, presents better team dynamics for Ferrari. It will also help Ferrari establish a clear hierarchy within the team, with Albon in the supporting role to Leclerc as we have seen with pairings like Hamilton-Bottas and Verstappen-Perez.

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Charles Leclerc Contradicts Carlos Sainz’s Optimism While Still Looking Forward to a Better 2024

Do you think Ferrari will go for a tried and tested strategy, with Leclerc at the helm supported by Alex Albon in the other car? Share your insights in the comments below.

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Written by:

Veerendra Vikram Singh

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"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking." Hi there, I am Veer and I come from a family that lives and breathes football, but somehow I never could fit into that mold.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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