Despite Leclerc upholding the privilege of having progressed through the ranks with Ferrari, Sainz asserts that he has always been appreciated by those inside the team.
“If I’m here it’s because someone will have valued me enough to be in the best team in history, the rest are subjective points of view, but what matters to me, those who are in Formula 1, the other drivers and team managers, value me as I should be valued, in that sense when it comes to pure work or performance, everyone does it without favouritism,” he explained recently.
Along with Leclerc, Sainz’s current Ferrari deal – signed last year – expires at the end of next season and he has been repeatedly linked with a switch to Sauber ahead of its transition to a works Audi entry from 2026.
However, Sainz suggests that he plans to remain with Ferrari and is hoping for talks over a contract extension to occur once the season concludes at the end of November.
“It’s not a question of not wanting to renew, it’s just that we haven’t sat down, we’ve been travelling all day, and the priority is to finish the season in the best possible way,” he said.
“Why are you going to start negotiating with four months left in the winter, when you can have time and calm?
“My future, I think I have said it several times, will be decided, or I will try to decide it, in winter. You know what my priority or intention is in the medium to long term, or in the short, medium and long term, and I hope we can find out in the winter.”
Sainz has dismissed that his recent upturn in form will aid negotiations, insisting that Ferrari was already aware of his capabilities before his recent headline results.
“If you’re in a good moment in your racing career, it’s always easier to negotiate than if you’re in a bad one, but I don’t think the last few races have changed Ferrari’s view of me or my view of Ferrari because I think we both knew the ability and potential we have, and my view in winter was going to be the same whether I won in Singapore or not,” he stated.
Although his valiant defence at Monza came in vain against the rampant Red Bulls, Sainz holds his Italy weekend in higher esteem than his run to victory in Singapore.
“I think, in a way, thanks to the victory in Singapore it’s easy to forget Monza, but I think Monza was maybe more important than Singapore because there I was first in practice and I did the pole position in front of the Tifosi,” he assessed.
“Then, on Sunday, what I had to do and with that podium, it has marked me in my sporting career, and to do it in front of those people chanting your name and being the hero of the race has marked me, I will never forget it. I’m sure that also helped to arrive in Singapore strengthened to dominate almost all the practice sessions, qualifying and the race.
“Probably without Monza, Singapore would have been more complicated, I lived in 2021 and 2022 to be a Ferrari driver, and what has changed this year? Nothing, you just adapt, the car was going better, and I knew Monza was a circuit I was good at, and I had it marked to do something special.”