Carlos Sainz will race for Ferrari in 2021 as the replacement for the four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel. Sainz’s seat at McLaren will be filled by Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.
The 25-year-old Spaniard has been at McLaren since last year and Ferrari will be his fourth team after his 2015 debut with the Italy-based Toro Rosso. He will drive alongside Charles Leclerc.
“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,” said the Ferrari team principal, Mattia Binotto.
Ricciardo has signed a “multi-year agreement” with McLaren and will leave Renault to race alongside Lando Norris. “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,” the McLaren team principal, Andreas Seidl, said.
Ricciardo tweeted: “I am so grateful for my time with Renault and the way I was accepted into the team. But we aren’t done and I can’t wait to get back on the grid this year. My next chapter isn’t here yet, so let’s finish this one strong. Merci.”
The 30-year-old Australian surprisingly left Red Bull, a team with whom he had won seven races in five F1 seasons between 2004 and 2018, to sign a two-year contract with Renault. The first season was fraught with difficulty and Ricciardo failed to make a podium. It seems he has now decided McLaren, who will switch to Mercedes engines next year, are the better bet for his long-term prospects.
“With Daniel and Lando as teammates, I believe we have two racers who will continue to excite our fans and help the team grow,” Seidl said.
The McLaren chief executive, Zak Brown, 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.”