Sainz to race at the Scuderia in 2021

Following the news that Ferrari have parting ways with Sebastian Vettel, the Scuderia has confirmed Carlos Sainz Jr as a replacement to the four-time world champion for the 2021 season.

With Vettel leaving the team at the end of the season, Ferrari moved swiftly by striking a contract with Sainz as his replacement.

Ferrari issued a statement confirming Sainz would be joining the team from McLaren for the 2021 season, partnering Charles Leclerc.

Ferrari said Sainz had signed a two-year deal.

“I am very happy that I will be driving for Scuderia Ferrari in 2021 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.”

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto commented:

“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 that 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. 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 fifty years of the Scuderia, will be the best possible combination to help us reach the goals we have set ourselves.”

McLaren had earlier confirming that Sainz would be leaving the team at the end of 2020 after the signing of Daniel Ricciardo, whose own departure from Renault was also confirmed.

Sainz was one of the breakout stars of the 2019 season as he finished sixth in the championship for McLaren, scoring the team’s first podium in almost six years at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

McLaren had already opened talks with Sainz over a new contract beyond 2020 as he entered the second season of his two-year deal, but negotiations had not advanced to a late enough stage to fend off interest from Ferrari.

It marks the latest big step for Sainz in a Formula 1 career that has accelerated rapidly in the last three years since his departure from Toro Rosso.

Promoted to the sport alongside fellow Red Bull junior Max Verstappen in 2015, Sainz spent almost three seasons with Toro Rosso before joining Renault with four races left in the 2017 campaign.

Renault’s deal to sign Ricciardo left Sainz without a drive for 2019, only for McLaren to pick up Carlos on a two-year contract.

Sainz quickly adjusted to life with McLaren, forging a good relationship off-track with rookie teammate Lando Norris, and was able to lead the team on-track as it recorded its best constructors’ championship finish since 2012.

As talks broke down with Vettel, Ferrari quickly identified Sainz as the driver it wanted to partner Leclerc for the future, allowing the deal to be announced just 48 hours after Vettel’s departure was made official.

So congratulations to Carlos Sainz Jr with this promotion. Joining Ferrari alongside Charles Leclerc makes it an exciting line-up and it is going to be fascinating to see him develop as a winner after scoring a podium in Brazil. Hopefully good times are in store for Sainz.

4 thoughts to “Sainz to race at the Scuderia in 2021”

  1. Why Ferrari chose Sainz – and why he shouldn’t be cast as Leclerc’s wingman. Article provided by

    There’s been a lot of tension inside the Sainz family in recent days, as negotiations with Formula 1’s most famous team reached a thrilling climax. A move to a team capable of winning races and possibly world championships is what any racing driver craves. Racers want a tool with which to show they can be the best in the world. Now Carlos Sainz has that chance.

    It’s a remarkable story, one which began with Red Bull placing the Spaniard at Toro Rosso alongside fellow debutant Max Verstappen in 2015, before choosing to promote the Dutchman to the big team ahead of him in 2016. When it became clear a step up to Red Bull wasn’t going to happen, Sainz and his team pushed hard for an exit via Renault. Red Bull agreed.

    It was a gamble, and the Spaniard was beaten by Nico Hulkenberg, who had firmly got his feet under the table at Enstone, in the single season he spent there. When he moved to McLaren for 2019, many didn’t rate his stock very highly – but oh how he proved them wrong.

    In just one year at McLaren, his turn of pace, ruthless consistency, and ability to take every opportunity handed to him marked him out as the best driver of the midfield. He ended up sixth overall – the highest-placed driver outside the big three teams – with a maiden podium to boot, and paved the way for opportunities to come knocking.

    The first steps began months ago
    Ferrari have long admired Sainz, son of two-time world rally champion Carlos Sr. The same can be said for a handful of other drivers on the grid, but with the Spaniard, they felt he was the right package that could slot into their team. It isn’t necessarily about being the best available driver for Ferrari, it’s about being the one who makes the dream team, currently built around Charles Leclerc, function effectively.

    And so talks have been on-going throughout this year, moving to video conference when the coronavirus lockdown hit, as Ferrari considered the possibility that their relationship with Sebastian Vettel was coming to an end. Sainz, as I’ve previously reported, was top of their list and so talks began as to whether this was a project that could become reality.

    The case for signing Sainz
    But what specifically about Sainz is it that makes him the right choice? Take his attitude. On signing for McLaren, among the first things he did was find a place in the United Kingdom so he could be close to the factory. He then spent as much time as possible integrating with the team, getting to know the people who he’d be working with, building relationships.

    He continued to push himself physically, while analytically delving deep into his driving and searching for areas which could improve, categorising in terms of priority. For the first time in his career, he had a multi-year contract. McLaren had put their faith in him to lead the team and he had no intention of letting them down.

    The season started poorly, with three non-scores, but Sainz didn’t let it get to him. The inner circle he has built around him, including his father, his cousin and his trainer, is his rock, but Sainz himself is as strong as they make them. He believes in his ability – and that his time will come – so there’s no point in getting down for too long.

    In his father, rally legend Carlos Sainz, he has the perfect role model. Sainz has learned well. From race four, he went on a run of eight points finishes in nine, getting everything out of the car.

    In Lando Norris, he had a rookie team mate who was and still is highly rated internally at McLaren, so it was up to Sainz to outpace him but also ensure a strong partnership without friction. It’s clear that has been a success. Norris emerged as the stronger of the two in qualifying – Sainz’s one-lap pace is something he’s putting a sharp focus on improving – but Sainz was able to time and again make up for it in the races.

    All these factors contributed to Ferrari knowing he was the right man for them. They want someone fast and consistent, so they can bring the constructors’ championship back to Maranello for the first time in more than a decade. They know that if push comes to shove, he has what it takes to step up and take podiums – and wins when he has settled in – picking up the pieces if Leclerc has an off day or unreliability. And they know that he is the kind of driver who will do his talking on the track, while fostering a strong relationship off it.

    Rules of engagement with Leclerc
    Many will say he’s signed as a number two driver, a wingman for Leclerc. This is not the case. Sainz will have equal opportunity. A driver for Ferrari races for the team, first and foremost. Could that mean the team asking Sainz to move over for Leclerc? Yes. But equally it could cut both ways, depending on the situation.

    Sure, he’s entering Leclerc’s house, there will be pressure like no other and it is bound to take him time to adjust to his new surroundings. But many would agree we’ve seen enough to suggest he will be able to sternly challenge the Monegasque. Crucially it is a multi-year deal, offering the stability that has allowed Sainz to flourish at McLaren.

    The perfect scenario for Ferrari is two drivers capable of winning, offering them stability in the medium to long-term. When Leclerc joined Ferrari, he was a de facto number two behind Vettel, the team openly admitting the German would be favoured.

    By the end of the year, he was clear number one, with a lucrative long-term contract in his pocket, and his former team leader was soon to be out the door. There is absolutely no reason to think Sainz won’t have the same opportunity to do exactly that when he joins.

    Ferrari won’t mind which driver that is, though you suspect they will feel Leclerc is better placed given his impressive first year with the team (and a second season still to come before Sainz arrives).

    And while Leclerc will be disappointed should Sainz reach the chequered flag first, the pain won’t quite be the same as Vettel encountered because he knows he has a long career ahead of him, while Vettel was fighting to hang on. It’s a completely different dynamic, and one which will breathe fresh air into a Ferrari team throwing caution to the wind by naming their youngest ever line-up in a bid to bring the biggest silverware of them all back to Maranello.

    It’s a positive signing, bold for them, fantastic for F1 and another shot in the arm for the next generation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *