Formula One driver Carlos Sainz seems to have impressed Ferrari enough after his 2021 debut season with the squad, as his contract, which was due to expire this year, has been extended through 2024.
Ferrari and Sainz announced the agreement on Thursday, prior to the start of preparations for this weekend's special Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to be held at Italy's Imola.
“I feel strengthened by this renewed show of confidence in me and now I can’t wait to get in the car, to do my best for Ferrari and to give its fans plenty to cheer about,” Sainz said in a statement.
Fellow Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has a contract that lasts through 2024 and he has expressed interest in extending this through 2026.
Unlike with some previous pairings, Ferrari's current drivers have a good rapport, which also helped with the decision of extending Sainz's contract, according to Team Principal Mattia Binotto.
“I have said several times that I believe we have the best driver pairing in Formula One and so, with every passing race, it seemed a completely natural step to extend Carlos’ contract, thus ensuring stability and continuity,” Binotto said in a statement.
Sainz, who is yet to win a grand prix, has competed in F1 since 2015, initially with Toro Rosso, and then Renault and McLaren. He joined Ferrari in 2021 and managed to finish that season in fifth place with 164.5 points. Leclerc finished the season in seventh place with 159 points.
After the first three rounds of the 2022 season, Sainz is in third place with 33 points. Leclerc is in first place with 71 points, while Mercedes-Benz AMG newcomer George Russell is in second place with 37 points.