Sainz to Ferrari; Ricciardo to McLaren 14 | 05 | 2020

    THE FORMULA ONE musical chairs stopped today after Ferrari confirmed Carlos Sainz (main picture) will replace Sebastian Vettel (pictured below) in 2021. In a synchronised move, McLaren also confirmed Sainz’s vacated seat will be filled by Daniel Ricciardo.

    The Aussie will leave Renault at the end of this season after what will have been two frustrating season with the French carmaker. The move marks a success for McLaren, who actively chased Ricciardo in 2018 before he left Red Bull to join Renault. (Related: F1 world champ Vettel to leave Ferrari)

    Ferrari was first this morning to confirm former McLaren racer Sainz will partner Monegasque Charles Leclerc for the 20201 season.

    "I am very happy I will be driving for Scuderia Ferrari in 2021,” the Spaniard, who has signed a two-year deal with Ferrari said, “and I'm excited about my future with the team..

    "I still have an important year ahead with McLaren Racing and I'm really looking forward to going racing again with them this season."


    Saint was welcomed by Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto, who added: "I'm pleased to announce that Carlos will join Scuderia Ferrari as from the 2021 championship.

    “With five seasons already behind him, Carlos has proved to be very talented and has shown he has the technical ability and the right attributes to make him an ideal fit with our family. We've embarked on a new cycle with the aim of getting back to the top in Formula 1. (Related: Mercedes F1 tackles Covid-19)

    "It will be a long journey, not without its difficulties, especially given the current financial and regulatory situation, which is undergoing a sudden change and will require this challenge to be tackled in a different way to the recent past.

    "We believe that a driver pairing with the talent and personality of Charles and Carlos, the youngest in the past 50 years of the Scuderia, will be the best possible combination to help us reach the goals we have set ourselves."

    In what was clearly a synchronised flurry of announcements, McLaren then confirmed Ricciardo would fill the seat vacated by Sainz. Ricciardo will partner England’s Lando Norris.


    "Signing Daniel (pictured above) is another step forward in our long-term plan and will bring an exciting new dimension to the team, alongside Lando,” McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, said. “This is good news for our team, partners and of course our fans.

    "I also want to pay tribute to Carlos for the excellent job he has been doing for McLaren in helping our performance recovery plan. He is a real team player and we wish him well for his future beyond McLaren."

    McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl added: "Daniel is a proven race-winner and his experience, commitment and energy will be a valuable addition to McLaren and our mission to return to the front of the field.

    "With Daniel and Lando as team-mates, I believe we have two racers who will continue to excite our fans and help the team grow.

    "Carlos is a true professional, a pleasure to work with and we will continue to enjoy going racing with him this year. We all wish him good luck for the next stage in his career when he leaves McLaren."

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    Jim McGill


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