Carlos Sainz ‘angry’ with Ferrari stance as contract talks risk standoff
Carlos Sainz will be 'angry' that Ferrari are prioritising Charles Leclerc over the Spaniard amid a contract standoff that is developing with the Spaniard and his team, claims former driver Ralf Schumacher.
Sainz currently sits third in the Driver's Championship, despite having to retire last time out at the Australian Grand Prix, in what has been a stellar start to the 2022 for Ferrari – with Leclerc leading the way at the top of the standings.
However, Schumacher believes Sainz won't be happy with Ferrari's approach, with Leclerc widely being considered to the number one driver. As a result issues could come to a head amid reports that a contract standoff is brewing.
F1 Insider claim that Sainz is seeking a two-year contract with Ferrari, whereas the Italian side are only prepared to offer a one-year deal with an option of a further year. That would leave them with the opportunity to change their driver partnership for 2024.
It would also put Sainz in an unstable position and, with Mick Schumacher making his desire to race for Ferrari clear – where his father excelled – it could lead to problems for the team. Ralf Schumacher believes Sainz won't be happy so far this season regarding the current situation within the team.
"The pecking order at Ferrari is already established," he said. "Carlos Sainz knows that too and is correspondingly angry. There was a time when someone (his brother, Michael) was very successful and it was also the case that you knew relatively early on which driver you were concentrating on."
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However, the claims that Leclerc is the first-choice driver have been refuted by Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto ahead of the team's home Grand Prix this weekend. Binotto stated that both are free to compete for victory and there won't be any team orders.
"It's only three races which have been done now," he said. "There are still 20 races left, hopefully 19 or 20. So the championship is still very long. Our drivers are free to fight, and I am really looking forward and enjoying that they are battling for a good place, and first place, if possible."
This weekend's race at Emilia Romagna also marks the first Sprint Qualifying of the 2022 season, following it's successful introduction last year.
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