Sainz confirmed for Ferrari as Ricciardo joins McLaren
Paris - Carlos Sainz Jr will drive for Formula One team Ferrari next season and Daniel Ricciardo will replace the Spaniard at McLaren.
The 25-year-old Spanish driver will join Ferrari on a two-year deal starting next year, the Italian team said in a statement on Thursday, shortly after McLaren announced Ricciardo's arrival from Renault.
Sainz Jr, the son of two-time world rally champion Carlos Sainz, will replace Sebastian Vettel. The four-time F1 champion is leaving Ferrari at the end of his contract.
Sainz Jr drove consistently well last season, securing the first podium finish of his career and helping McLaren finish fourth in the constructors’ championship.
“I also want to pay tribute to Carlos for the excellent job he has been doing for McLaren in helping our performance recovery plan,” McLaren chief executive Zak Brown said. “He is a real team player and we wish him well for his future beyond McLaren.”
Ricciardo will drive alongside 20-year-old British driver Lando Norris next season.
“Signing Daniel is another step forward in our long-term plan and will bring an exciting new dimension to the team, alongside Lando," Brown said. “This is good news for our team, partners and of course our fans.”
Renault has not yet said who will replace Ricciardo next year.
The 30-year-old Australian had a difficult time last season, his first with the French manufacturer after making a surprise move from Red Bull. He managed only one fourth-place finish and placed a lowly ninth in the standings.
But Ricciardo showed strong form during his stint with Red Bull, winning seven races and consistently securing podium finishes.
Among those touted to replace Ricciardo are Nico Hulkenberg, who lost his Renault seat this year to Esteban Ocon, two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso, and Vettel.