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.

Ricciardo leaves Renault for McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo will race in McLaren papaya orange in the 2021 Formula 1 season as a replacement to Carlos Sainz Jr.

With Sainz off to Ferrari following the news Sebastian Vettel will leave the team, McLaren has confirmed the honey badger will be joining at the end of the year.

The new deal will see the seven-time Grand Prix winner leave Renault, where he has raced for the last two seasons following his departure from Red Bull Racing.

McLaren has been keen on working for Ricciardo for some time, making an approach for the Australian when he weighed up his Formula 1 future in 2018.

Ricciardo ultimately decided to sign for Renault, who finished behind McLaren in the constructors’ championship last season.

Lando Norris has also been confirmed as staying at McLaren to partner Ricciardo.

McLaren Racing’s CEO Zak Brown had this to say:

“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.”

“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.”

Team principal Andreas Seidl commented about Ricciardo joining the team:

“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 teammates, 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.”

McLaren had already opened talks with Sainz over a new contract after his impressive display for the team last season, only for Ferrari to swoop in once Vettel’s exit was confirmed.

Since returning to Formula 1 as a works team in 2016, Renault has been open in its target to return to the front of the field upon the new set of technical regulations, which now come into force for 2022.

Ricciardo signed for Renault fully aware of the long-term nature of the project, but the team failed to bridge the gap to the leading three teams as hoped through 2019.

Renault is yet to indicate who will replace Ricciardo at the team, but it now holds one of the highest-profile open seats in Formula 1 for 2021.

Outgoing Ferrari driver Vettel has been linked with the seat, as has two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who previously raced for Renault in two stints from 2003-06 and in 2008-09.

Renault has also been bold in its ambition to have a graduate from its junior academy on the Formula 1 grid by 2021, a possibility strengthened by Ricciardo’s departure.

Guanyu Zhou and Christian Lundgaard are the two leading members of the Renault Sport Academy, both racing in Formula 2 this year.

So fantastic news to get Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren. It’s going to be fascinating to see Ricciardo driving with a Mercedes-powered car and fighting for points. He gets along very well with teammate Lando Norris, thanks to jokes and banter. Best of luck Daniel!

Vettel leaves Ferrari after 2020 season

Scuderia Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel will part ways at the end of the 2020 Formula 1 season, calling it a joint decision.

It follows the news that Vettel was set to leave the team at the end of the year after a breakdown in negotiations over a new contract.

Sebastian’s existing three-year deal expires at the end of 2020, but after months of discussions over a fresh contract without a breakthrough, the decision was taken to part company.

Ferrari confirmed Vettel’s departure in an official statement with quotes from team principal Mattia Binotto.

“This is a decision taken jointly by ourselves and Sebastian, one which both parties feel is for the best.”

“It was not an easy decision to reach, given Sebastian’s worth as a driver and as a person. There was no specific reason that led to this decision, apart from the common and amicable belief that the time had come to go our separate ways in order to reach our respective objectives.”

Vettel is understood to have been offered a short-term contract at a reduced salary compared to his previous deals, but stressed in his announcement that financial considerations played no part in the decision.

“In order to get the best possible results in this sport, it’s vital for all parties to work in perfect harmony. The team and I have realised that there is no longer a common desire to stay together beyond the end of this season.”

“Financial matters have played no part in this joint decision. That’s not the way I think when it comes to making certain choices and it never will be.

“What’s been happening in these past few months has led many of us to reflect on what are our real priorities in life. One needs to use one’s imagination and to adopt a new approach to a situation that has changed. I myself will take the time I need to reflect on what really matters when it comes to my future.

“Scuderia Ferrari occupies a special place in Formula 1 and I hope it gets all the success it deserves. Finally, I want to thank the whole Ferrari family and above all its ‘Tifosi’ all around the world, for the support they have given me over the years.

“My immediate goal is to finish my long stint with Ferrari, in the hope of sharing some more beautiful moments together, to add to all those we have enjoyed so far.”

As for the future for the four-time world champion? It’s unclear if there is a seat back at Red Bull Racing or an opportunity to join the current title winners Mercedes. The most realistic outcome is to call time on the sport and retire. Team boss Binotto paid tribute to Vettel with his commitment at the team in these past few seasons:

“On behalf of everyone at Ferrari, I want to thank Sebastian for his great professionalism and the human qualities he has displayed over these five years, during which we shared so many great moments.”

“We have not yet managed to win a world title together, which would be a fifth for him, but we believe that we can still get a lot out of this unusual 2020 season.”

Scuderia Ferrari is yet to make any announcement on who will replace Vettel for 2021 and join Charles Leclerc at Maranello. It’s going to be fascinating to see who will step up to the challenge.

As for Vettel, thank you for the memories at Ferrari. Scoring 12 pole positions, winning 14 races and coming second in the championship twice for the Scuderia. Best of luck to Sebastian in his next outing, be it in Formula 1 or something else that he loves to compete in.