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Sainz 'extremely close' to signing new Ferrari deal

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Carlos Sainz says he is “extremely close” to signing a contract extension with Ferrari, in a deal which would extend his stay at the famous Italian team beyond the end of the season.

The Spaniard joined Ferrari for 2021, replacing four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and partnering Charles Leclerc on a two-year deal.

He beat team mate Leclerc – whose long-term Ferrari contract expires at the end of 2024 – in the drivers’ standings, ending the year a career-best fifth.

Speaking about a new deal after securing his fifth Ferrari podium in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Sainz said: "I think we are close. Very close. Very, very close. Very close. Extremely close. Nearly there."

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2022 Bahrain Grand Prix: Sainz celebrates brilliant P2 despite ‘difficult weekend’

Team Principal Mattia Binotto, who says he has the best line-up on the grid, added: “I think we found an agreement. It's only a matter to translate it into paper."

Despite finishing second – in what was his second successive podium – in Bahrain, Sainz admits he has plenty to work on if he is to secure his first career victory.

PODCAST: Carlos Sainz on hunting that elusive first win, as Beyond The Grid returns for 2022

“As a Ferrari driver it’s been my most difficult weekend and it just shows that I need to put my head down, understand this car, understand where Charles is making the difference with his driving and the way that he's approaching the corners and driving the tyres, also in the race.

“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.

“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.”

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