Sainz put up an inspired performance to finish second at the Bahrain Grand Prix last weekend

Carlos Sainz has revealed that he is “extremely close” to a contract renewal with Ferrari F1 team.

“I think we are close. Very, very close. Very close. Extremely close. Nearly there”, said Sainz speaking on the prospects of securing a new deal with Ferrari. The Spaniard joined Ferrari in 2021 replacing four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel and partnering Charles Leclerc. His existing contract expires at the end of this season. Red Bull team Principal Mattia Binotto confirmed Sainz’s statement about securing a new deal. “I think we found an agreement. It’s only a matter to translate to paper.”

Carlos Sainz 2
Formula 1 Austria Gran Prix 2021 Carlos Sainz Jr. of Scuderia Ferrari looks on before the Formula 1 Gran Prix 2021 of Austria Spielberg Red Bull Ring Austria Copyright: xBasilex

Sainz was extremely impressive in the opening race of the season but the driver feels there is more work to do ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this weekend. “I need to improve if I want to fight for a win and I will put my head down and try to do some steps coming into Jeddah. Can I improve it from one weekend to another? I think I can improve it”, said Sainz. He further added, “Can I cut down the deficit completely? It’s a very good question. I wish I can and I will be working hard for it.”

Carlos Sainz finished second in Bahrain after Verstappen retired with three laps to go

It was not an ideal start to the new season for either Verstappen or his Red Bull team. Verstappen drove very well throughout the race but was forced to retire on lap 54 due to technical issues which meant Sainz easily finished in 2nd spot.

Verstappen was visibly upset with the proceedings. Speaking after the race, Verstappen explained the issues he faced during the race. “I mean, what happened at the end is obviously very frustrating but ofcourse before that, quite a few issues. First of all, the balance was off. I didn’t have the same feeling as Friday on the long run, so that was a bit disappointing.”

Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc
Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc

Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez also failed to register a timing after spinning with his car on the final lap. The double retirement made it easier for Sainz to finish in second place.

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