McLaren and Daniel Riccardo have announced that a multi-year deal has been signed between the two from 2021. The Australian driver will be replacing Carlos Sainz at the Woking outfit after the 2020 season. The announcement comes after Sebastian Vettel announced his departure from Ferrari following the 2020 season. After McLaren confirming Ricciardo, Ferrari have released a statement confirming that Carlos Sainz will be Vettel’s replacement.
On Tuesday, Sebastian Vettel had announced that he and Ferrari will be going their separate ways from 2021. The move as expected has caused a ripple effect down the grid. Speculations hinted that Ricciardo or Sainz were the contenders to replace Vettel at Ferrari. Now McLaren has announced that it will not renew the driver contract for Carlos Sainz whose current deal expires after the 2020 season. Additionally, McLaren has confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo will switch to McLaren from 2021 alongside Lando Norris.
Ricciardo posted on his personal Instagram saying “I’m so grateful for my time with Renault and the way I was accepted into the team. But we aren’t done. My next chapter isn’t here yet, so let’s finish this one strong. Merci”
Ferrari have now confirmed that Carlos Sainz will leave McLaren after the 2020 season to join Charles Leclerc at Maranello. Sainz is expected to play second fiddle to Leclerc at Ferrari, who prefer to follow a Number 1 and Number 2 driver philosophy. Sainz having a single podium to his name which came at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix after the penalty that dropped Lewis Hamilton off the podium position. Sainz had joined McLaren in 2019 and will compete in his second year with the team before moving to Ferrari with a contract for two years.
Ferrari team principal, Mattia Binotto with the confirmation of Sainz as Vettel’s replacement stated: “We believe a driver pairing with the talent and personality of Charles and Carlos, the youngest in the past 50 years of the Scuderia will be the best possible combination to help us reach our goals.”
With Sainz moving to Ferrari in 2021 and Ricciardo confirmed for McLaren, a new question arises. Who will now occupy the vacant seat at Renault?
While leaving Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel said “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.” While this could mean that Vettel may even return from the sport, or revaluate his priorities and join a mid-field team i.e. Renault.
Currently, Sebastian Vettel has not released a statement regarding his future and Renault are yet to announce their plans for the vacant seat for the 2021 season.
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