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The Ferrari Domino Effect – Sainz To Scuderia, Ricciardo To McLaren


The domino effect from Sebastian Vettel’s departure from Ferrari at the end of the 2020 racing season has begun with Ferrari signing Carlos Sainz, Jr. and McLaren signing Daniel Ricciardo – both for the 2021 racing season, in an announcement by both teams.

Sainz, Jr. replaces four-time Formula One world champion Vettel at Ferrari and will now play second fiddle to Charles Leclerc [who has a contract with Ferrari through 2024] while Ricciardo will assume the top banana role over Lando Norris at McLaren.

Before any of that could happen, McLaren had to release Sainz, Jr. from his contractual obligations – the team had an option on the 25-year-old Spaniard for 2021 – and they needed to secure Ricciardo’s signature and release from Renault before that could happen.

Sainz, Jr. has previously driven for Toro Rosso and Renault before McLaren, finishing sixth in last year’s driver’s championship but has only one podium finish to his credit [although not on track as his on-track fourth-place 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix was promoted to third-place after Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was demoted for an in-race collision].

Meanwhile, McLaren is getting the good end of the deal with Ricciardo – who has seven F1 wins to go along with his 29 podium finishes in his 11-year F1 career – and has finished third twice in the driver’s championship – in 2014 and 2016.

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