Photo: McLaren

Sainz Jr. Confirmed at Ferrari for 2021

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

The musical chairs have stopped for Carlos Sainz Jr. as he has been officially announced by Ferrari as their driver for the 2021 Formula 1 season.

The 25-year-old Spaniard signed a two-year deal, which will see replace four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel, who announced on Tuesday he will leave the team at the end of the year. 

Alongside Charles Leclerc, 22, the iconic Italian outfit will have one of the youngest driver lineups on the grid. Additionally, it will also mark their youngest driver lineup since 1968, when the team ran with Chris Amon and Jacky Ickx. To date, the pair have combined for two wins and 11 podiums.

Sainz has just one podium in 102 Grand Prix starts, which came by a third-place finish last year at the Brazilian Grand Prix. However, the pace was evident as he helped guide a McLaren resurgence, where the team finished fourth in the constructors’ standings and he finished a career-best sixth in the drivers’ championship.

For now, though, Sainz will finish out the remainder of his current year with McLaren, who confirmed Daniel Ricciardo moments before Sainz was revealed at Ferrari.

“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.”

Mattia Binotto, team principal at Ferrari, expressed his excitement in bringing a new era to Maranello.

“I’m pleased to announce that Carlos will join Scuderia Ferrari as from the 2021 championship,” said 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.”

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Joey Barnes is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, IndyCar.com and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.