Ferrari have announced that Carlos Sainz will replace Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari for the 2021 Formula One Season.
Confirmation of Sainz’s move to Maranello comes just days after Vettel announced his decision to part company with the Scuderia.
The deal will see Sainz sign on an initial two-year contract and partner Charles Leclerc across 2021 and 22 seasons.
Sainz is “very happy” with his switch to Ferrari and has stated that he is “excited about my future with the team” whilst acknowledging that he has an important year ahead with McLaren and is “really looking forward to going racing again with them [McLaren] this season.”
Ferrari Team Principal, Mattia Binotto is “pleased…” to have signed Sainz and praised his “technical ability and the right attributes to make him an ideal fit with our family.”
Speaking of Ferrari’s plans for the future, Binotto commented on the team embarking “on a new cycle with the aim of getting back to the top in Formula 1.” whilst admitting that it “will be a long journey, not without its difficulties, especially given the current financial and regulatory situation…”
The Italian also described Sainz and Leclerc as “the best possible combination to help us reach the goals we have set ourselves.”
McLaren meanwhile have confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo will replace Sainz as Lando Norris’ teammate next season.
‘Emulate his childhood hero’Embed from Getty Images
This move to Ferrari will see Sainz emulate his childhood hero in Fernando Alonso, who had driven for the Scuderia as well as Renault and Sainz’s current team – McLaren.
Having arrived in F1 in 2015 with Toro Rosso, Sainz has established himself as one of the most consistent drivers as he developed throughout each season, despite getting snubbed by Red Bull when Daniel Ricciardo’s seat became available whilst he was on loan at Renault.
Last season however saw Sainz move to McLaren where he collected his first F1 podium in Brazil and finished sixth in the drivers’ standings, beating Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon who had switched between Red Bull and Toro Rosso mid-season.
Qualifying however hasn’t been Sainz’s strongest point, only managing to beat Daniil Kvyat out of his four previous teammates, although he did lose to Max Verstappen and Lando Norris by one qualifying result in 2015 and 19 respectively.
Sainz however will be playing second-fiddle to Leclerc at Ferrari, which will place increased scrutiny on his performances unless he can quickly get on top of the Monegasque and mount his own title bid.