Ferrari confirms Sainz as Vettel’s replacement

Carlos Sainz

Ferrari has confirmed Carlos Sainz will join the team alongside Charles Leclerc for the 2021 Formula 1 season.

Sainz will move to the Scuderia after two years at McLaren, where he recorded his maiden F1 podium at the Brazilian Grand Prix last year.

The Spaniard was heavily linked with a move to the team once it became apparent Sebastian Vettel would not continue.

“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.”

Ferrari Team Principal, Mattia Binotto, 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 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.”

A winner of the Formula Renault 3.5 series in 2014, Sainz made his F1 debut with Toro Rosso the following year.

He spent the better part of three seasons with the Italian-based team before joining Renault in place of Jolyon Palmer for the final four races of 2017.

Daniel Ricciardo’s decision to leave Red Bull left Sainz on the outer for 2019, which saw him join McLaren alongside Lando Norris last season.

Ricciardo was also linked with the drive at Ferrari but was earlier today confirmed by McLaren for 2021 on a ‘multi-year’ deal.

Elsewhere in the market, Mercedes is yet to confirm either Lewis Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas beyond the 2020 campaign, though no changes are expected on that front.

Max Verstappen has already inked a new deal that will keep him at Red Bull, though a decision on who will partner him has not been made.

Currently that is a task assigned to Alexander Albon, while the energy drink’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has ruled out a return for Vettel.

Sainz’s deal will see him remain with Ferrari until at least the end of the 2022 season.

Drivers contracted for 2021+

Team Driver 1 Driver 2
Ferrari Carlos Sainz (2022) Charles Leclerc (2024)
Red Bull Max Verstappen (2023)
McLaren Daniel Ricciardo (2021+) Lando Norris
Renault Esteban Ocon (2021)
Racing Point Sergio Perez (2022) Lance Stroll
Alfa Romeo
Williams George Russell (2020+)

Drivers out of contract for 2021

Lewis Hamilton
Valtteri Bottas
Sebastian Vettel
Alex Albon
Daniil Kvyat
Pierre Gasly
Kimi Raikkonen
Antonio Giovinazzi
Kevin Magnussen
Romain Grosjean
Nicholas Latifi

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