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Confirmed: Sainz to join Ferrari, Ricciardo to McLaren

McLaren's Spanish driver Carlos Sainz will race for Ferrari in 2021 and 2022 as replacement for four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, the Italian Formula One team said in a statement on Thursday (May 14).

Sainz's place at McLaren will go to Renault's Daniel Ricciardo, who signed a "multi-year" deal, said the British team.

Sainz, 25, finished a creditable sixth in the drivers' championship with McLaren last year, and will partner the 22-year-old Charles Leclerc, who is seen as a future world champion.

“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 Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto.

Ricciardo, meanwhile, will partner Lando Norris at McLaren from next year.

“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,” said McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl.

“With Daniel and Lando as teammates, I believe we have two racers who will continue to excite our fans and help the team grow.”

Ricciardo has won seven races and recorded 29 podium finishes since his F1 debut with the HRT team at the British Grand Prix in 2011.

The 30-year-old Australian drove for Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso in 2012 and 2013 before making the jump to the flagship Red Bull team in 2014. He finished third in the drivers’ standings in 2014 and 2016.

However, he failed to muster a single podium finish in his first season at Renault.

After the first 10 races of the coronavirus-hit 2020 campaign were either cancelled or postponed, Formula One hopes to open its season in Austria with back-to-back races on July 5 and 12. – AFP

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