Carlos Sainz has been left angered by reports he is set to join Audi when the German manufacturer joins the Formula 1 grid.
Audi has secured a minority stake in Sauber ahead of its introduction to the sport from 2026 when the Swiss-based outfit will morph into the works team for the Volkswagen brand in tandem with the incoming power unit regulations.
A new extension to Audi's Neuberg facility is under construction to allow for the development of its power units, with the mechanisms needed for the design process under test, with the desire to test a first hybrid engine by the end of this year.
But whilst the F1 project is in its infancy, speculation over who could drive for Audi has been rife. Mick Schumacher has been linked by virtue of his nationality whilst Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu have also been tipped given their current positions with Sauber.
Sainz has also been strongly linked with a shift across, with ties to Audi through his father - Sainz Sr racing for the manufacturer over the past two seasons in rally raids.
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'I do not understand the talk'
Sainz's fortunes at Ferrari have been up and down, having beaten team-mate Charles Leclerc in the Drivers' standings in his first year with the team, before struggling to adapt to F1's newest technical regulations last season.
The Scuderia has started slowly this season but despite the negative outlook for the team, Sainz has insisted his future lies at Maranello.
"I do not understand the talk about what may happen in 2026 when I am not yet under contract for 2025," said Sainz, as quoted by Marca.
"It angers me when uncorroborated and fabricated rumours come out. My intention is to stay at Ferrari for many years."
Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the last week in F1.