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By Jesse Simons, 14 may 2020

Official: Ferrari records Sainz as Vettel's successor

Carlos Sainz Jr. will race for Ferrari in Formula 1 from next year. The Spaniard has been recruited as successor to four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who will leave Ferrari after six years.

On Tuesday it became clear that Ferrari and Vettel will separate at the end of 2020. Sainz was immediately listed as one of the prime candidates for the vacant seat. The Madrileen made an excellent impression at McLaren last year by regularly finishing as 'best of the rest'. Sainz would be seen as the perfect teammate for Charles Leclerc in Maranello and that he would not have too high salary requirements would have worked in his favor - in these times of corona. The Spaniard has therefore signed a two-year contract with the Scuderia.

Sainz reacted enthusiastically to the news, but also acknowledged that he wants to perform for McLaren this season. "I am very happy to drive for Scuderia Ferrari from 2021 and look forward to the future with this team," said the Madrileen. "I have another important year ahead with McLaren Racing this season and I am looking forward to racing for them again this season."

Sainz made his Formula 1 debut at Toro Rosso in 2015, where Max Verstappen also made his entry into the motorsport class at the time. The Spaniard and the Dutchman appeared to be quite evenly matched, but it was Verstappen who promoted to Red Bull after four races in 2016 when Daniil Kvyat was returned to the training team of the energy drink manufacturer. Sainz then also stayed with Toro Rosso for 2017, but the dissatisfaction with the Spaniard increased as it became increasingly clear that for the time being there would be no chance for the A-team of Red Bull, which was well equipped with Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

Before the end of the season, Sainz was able to switch to Renault to replace Jolyon Palmer, after which he also played for the French factory formation in 2018. However, for 2019, Daniel Ricciardo's switch left no room for Sainz at Renault. He found shelter with McLaren, which turned out not to be a bad move as the Woking team got better. Towards the end of the season, Sainz even scored a podium finish with the British racing team by finishing third in the crazy Brazilian Grand Prix. He finished fourth at Interlagos, but moved up after a time penalty for Lewis Hamilton.

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