FERRARI have signed Carlos Sainz on a two-year year deal as a replacement for Sebastian Vettel.
The Spaniard’s move kills off any hope of seeing Lewis Hamilton join F1’s most famous team.
Hamilton’s move to Ferrari is off after they signed Sainz
Carlos Sainz will take over from Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari
It leaves the six-time world champion with little option but to commit his future to Mercedes.
Next season, Sainz, 25, will partner Charles Leclerc – just 22 – who is under contract until 2024.
Ferrari team principal, Mattia Binotto, said: “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 One.
“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.”
Sainz, son of rally driver Carlos, leaves McLaren and has also driven for Renault and Toro Rosso in a slow rise through F1’s ranks.
He added: “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.”
Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo has joined McLaren to replace Ferrari-bound Sainz.
The Aussie will partner Lando Norris at the Woking-based team from 2021 where they will look to build upon the team’s resurrection.
Daniel Ricciardo has signed for McLaren on a two-year deal
Ricciardo will leave Renault after a frustrating two years where the French car giant have failed to deliver him a reliable and competitive car.
It is second time lucky for McLaren, who tried to sign the 30-year-old F1 ace back in 2019 – while Sainz will be tasked with the unenviable job of filling Vettel’s shoes at Ferrari.
Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, said: “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.”
Ricciardo has seven wins in F1, coming during his time at Red Bull and will form a spritely partnership with Brit Norris.
The two are known for their practical jokes and will breath new life into McLaren.
McLaren team principal, Andreas Seidl, added: “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 team-mates, 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.”
Meanwhile, under-fire Renault team boss, Cyril Abiteboul, released a bizarre contradicting statement.
He said: “In our sport, and particularly within the current extraordinary situation, reciprocated confidence, unity and commitment are, more than ever, critical values for a works team.
“I am confident that the 2020 season will allow us to accomplish even more together. Our ambitions and the strategy of Renault DP World F1 Team remain unchanged.”
Source: Motorsport - thesun.co.uk