Ferrari has confirmed can that Carlos Sainz will replace Sebastian Vettel from 2021 on a multi-year deal while Daniel Ricciardo will take the vacant seat at Mclaren.
After Ferrari announced Vettel would leave the team after 2020 many expected Sainz to be signed by Ferrari who he has had links with previously. The Spaniard will partner Charles Leclerc who will now lead the team after an inexpressive debut season at the Scuderia in 2019.
“I’m pleased to announce that Carlos will join Scuderia Ferrari as from the 2021 championship,” said Mattia Binotto (Ferrari team principle) in statement from Ferrari. “With five seasons already behind him, Carlos has proved to be very talented and has shown that he has the technical ability and the right attributes to make him an ideal fit with our family.
We believe that a driver pairing with the talent and personality of Charles and Carlos, the youngest in the past fifty years of the Scuderia, will be the best possible combination to help us reach the goals we have set ourselves”.
Sainz moved to Mclaren from Renault in 2019 and also scored an impressive debut season for the team finishing 6th in the standings and scoring the teams first podium since 2014.
“I am very happy that I will be driving for Scuderia Ferrari in 2021 and I’m excited about my future with the team,” said Sainz. “I still have an important year ahead with McLaren Racing and I’m really looking forward to going racing again with them this season.”
Not long before Ferrari confirmed Sainz, Mclaren had announced that Daniel Ricciardo would be joining the team, replacing Sainz, also on a multi-year deal.
“Signing Daniel is another step forward in our long-term plan and will bring an exciting new dimension to the team, alongside Lando. This is good news for our team, partners and of course our fans.” said Mclaren CEO Zac Brown in a statement from the team.
The Australian will join Lando Norris who will start his third F1 season in 2021.
“I am so grateful for my time with @renaultf1team and the way I was accepted into the team. But we aren’t done and I can’t wait to get back on the grid this year. My next chapter isn’t here yet, so let’s finish this one strong. Merci” said Ricciardo on Twitter.
This now shuts the door for a move from either Lewis Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas to Ferrari and thus Vettel to Mercedes as had been speculated. But the now vacant Renault seat could cause some movement in the mid-field or potentially open the door for Nico Hulkenberg to return.