Carlos Sainz has given an update on talks over his new Ferrari contract, with a deal "very close" to being completed.
The Spaniard joined the team at the beginning of the 2021 season, and went on to enjoy a successful debut campaign with the Scuderia.
This included finishing ahead of fellow Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc in the World Championship standings, marking the first time that Leclerc had been beaten by a teammate over the course of a season in his racing career.
Both drivers had a very strong start to 2022, with Leclerc leading Sainz in a 1-2 finish for the Italian outfit at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
Sainz admits new Ferrari contract is "important"
There has been speculation about a new deal for Sainz for some time, in light of his impressive performances.
His current contract expires at the end of the year, but it sounds like a longer stay will soon be confirmed.
"We're getting there," Sainz told media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked about how close an extended deal is to being finalised.
"Obviously, it's an important contract in my career, and I really wanted to make sure that everything was done and [that] both Ferrari and I were happy with what we are signing.
"We're very close to finalising it. It still needs the last details but, yeah, it looks good for the future."
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Reflecting on Ferrari's 1-2 finish in Bahrain
Whilst Sainz's second year with Ferrari seemed to start in ideal fashion with the team's 1-2 result in Bahrain, the Spaniard admitted afterwards that he had struggled more throughout the weekend in comparison to Leclerc.
Reflecting on it now, Sainz feels that he may have been a little too negative, but still believes that he has more to learn about the 2022 F1-75 car.
"Maybe I was a bit too negative after the race, because still we managed to finish on the podium, [and] bring home a 1-2," Sainz explained.
"But it's not a lie that I was probably not very happy with the car and just not driving it the way I should have. Probably just not understanding this new generation of cars 200 percent, but I'm working on it.
"I feel like I also need to bring the car a bit more to my driving style, to my liking, and as soon as I feel a bit more comfortable, the results and the pace will come.
"But still, without feeling very confident and comfortable in the car, we managed to bring home a P2. We would have been P3 without Max [Verstappen's] retirement, but [it's] exciting times ahead, and I think [there is] some time to find."
Sainz went on to take P3 in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix one week later, with Leclerc beaten to the victory by Verstappen.
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Mike Seymour, and Thomas Maher look back over the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix in Jeddah, which was won in dramatic fashion by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.