Ferrari has signed Carlos Sainz as Sebastian Vettel’s replacement for the 2021 Formula 1 season. 

Sainz moves from McLaren to take the seat vacated by Vettel next season after contract talks between Ferrari and the German broke down without agreement. 

The 25-year-old Spaniard will join Charles Leclerc at Ferrari after his current two-year deal with McLaren expires at the end of the year. He has agreed a two-year contract at Maranello. 

Sainz had been in talks to remain at McLaren beyond 2020 but was swayed by the appeal of joining a race-winning team following Vettel's exit. 

"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."

Sainz played an instrumental role in helping the Woking squad secure its best result of the V6 hybrid era with fourth-place in the constructors’ championship.  

He claimed sixth position in the drivers’ standings having scored 96 points during an impressive campaign that was topped off with a maiden podium at the Brazilian Grand Prix. 2019 marked Sainz’s best season in F1 after switching from Renault, where he was on loan from Red Bull. 

Sainz starred during a three-season spell at Toro Rosso prior to that, having made his grand prix debut alongside Max Verstappen in 2015 following his promotion after winning the Formula Renault 3.5 title in 2014. 

"I'm pleased to announce that Carlos will join Scuderia Ferrari as from the 2021 championship," said Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto.

"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."

Confirmation of the news followed an earlier announcement on Thursday morning that Daniel Ricciardo will join McLaren on a multi-year deal from the 2021 season to partner Lando Norris

The Australian, who held talks with McLaren in the summer of 2018 as he weighed up his future at Red Bull, was unsettled after an underwhelming maiden season with the French manufacturer in 2019. 

Ricciardo originally opted to sign for Renault for 2019 as the team was more competitive at the time, but McLaren's impressive resurgence last year has made it a more attractive option. McLaren will also switch to Mercedes engines from 2021, further boosting its future prospects. 

Vettel and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso - who has already had two spells at the team he won both his titles with in 2005 and 2006 - have both been linked with Ricciardo's spot at Renault alongside Esteban Ocon.

 

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