Ferrari dropped the ultimate mediatic bombshell today, as Sebastian Vettel will bid farewell to the team at the end of 2020. A busy shortlist of potential candidates appears to be considered by the Maranello-based outfit, but negotiations are set to be closed earlier than expected. Sources from Italy claim that Carlos Sainz is the ‘chosen one’, and his move will become official within the next 48 hours.
As for his contract, minor details are yet to be fixed but the deal appears to be done and sealed. Ironically, the driver Sainz was in contention with, Daniel Ricciardo, is another Red Bull junior programme has-been. And despite the fact that he jogged in place while his teammate Max Verstappen was being handed opportunities and promotions, Sainz has earned his way into a top team, thanks to a fortunate combination of factors. A good value for money and a rather promising set of skills. Carlos Sainz now finds himself in a rapturing ascension, from Toro Rosso to Renault, then from McLaren to Ferrari. His career resembles Fernando Alonso’s progression through the F1 field, enhancing the symbolic passing of the torch from one Spaniard to another.
Plus, Sainz would accept the 'esquire' role alongside Charles Leclerc, having to prove himself first and gain as much experience as possible. Over 100 races in the bag, 25 years of age and a podium scored in Brazil with a resurgent McLaren. These are Sainz’s numbers walking into Ferrari’s gates. How will they evolve over the years?