Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has confirmed that the team will begin talks with Carlos Sainz over an extension to his current deal during the winter. The Italian team are keen to conclude talks before the 2022 Formula 1 season gets underway.

The Spaniard just completed his debut season with the legendary Formula 1 team and impressed alongside teammate Charles Leclerc. Sainz finished the season as the best of the rest in the Drivers' championship, taking fifth place behind the two Mercedes and Red Bull Racing drivers.

It was an impressive feat to beat Leclerc, who is seen as the Italian team's star driver, having achieved race wins and pole positions during his first two seasons with the team. The former Renault and McLaren driver took time to get to grips with his new machinery, but put in consistent performances in the latter half of the campaign to finish 5 points ahead of his more accomplished teammate.

Sainz is currently contracted until the end of the 2022 season and the Maranello based team is keen to ensure that he is tied down to a new long-term deal. Binotto confirmed that talks will take place after being impressed with the Spanish racer's showing during the 2021 campaign.

"With Carlos, we will discuss through the winter time the extension of his contact," Binotto said, as quoted by the BBC. "He worked very well during the season. I'm very happy with the way he integrated and has been performing on track."

Carlos Sainz
Hello, goodbye: McLaren's Spanish driver Carlos Sainz who will switch to Ferrari in 2021 William WEST/AFP

Apart from Sainz's new deal, Binotto also confirmed a promotion for Haas Racing driver Mick Schumacher, who will be Ferrari's reserve driver for at least 11 races in 2022. The Ferrari Academy ace impressed the Italian team's bosses in his debut campaign, and will share the reserve driver duties with Antonio Giovinazzi.

"He is a Ferrari driver. We should not forget that. He has been part of the academy and the reason we have an academy is to identify who can be the next Ferrari driver for the future," Binotto said of Schumacher, the son of Ferrari legend and seven-time champion Michael Schumacher.

"If I look at the last races he was a lot closer to cars ahead even though Haas did not really develop the car at all," he added. "So the fact he was closer showed he had good improvement on the speed itself."

Michael Schumacher
Father and son: Michael Schumacher (right) won seven world titles and is a hard act to follow for son Mick (left) Andrej ISAKOVIC/AFP