Carlos Sainz Jr. has revealed that the McLaren F1 Team congratulated him over his two year deal with Scuderia Ferrari from 2021.
Sebastian Vettel announced he would be leaving the team at the end of the 2020 Formula 1 World Championship. Which lead to Sainz taking up the seat at Ferrari in 2021 on a two-year deal alongside Charles Leclerc. This also led to Daniel Riccardo replacing Sainz at McLaren for 2021.
In an interview with the official Formula 1 website, he explained McLaren were understanding with his choice of leaving the team but also upset that he would be leaving the team. He also explained that the choices he had to made were fast due to the likes of Vettel’s depature.
“They needed to have clarity from me in case they needed a replacement,” Sainz said. “Immediately they [said]: ‘Carlos please let us know if this is a serious thing because we obviously cannot be left behind – if we are going to go into a market we need to know as soon as possible.
“And at that point, the clarity and everything, we were all a bit rushed into trying to make the decisions as quick as possible [for] the benefit of everyone involved.
“The reaction [was] very simple. They were happy for me. They congratulated me and they said: ‘Look, Carlos, you deserve it and I’m sure you will do great there’, and that confidence boost is always nice to hear from your bosses.”
Sainz, also explained that he has been in talks with Ferrari since before winter testing of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. But he made it clear that McLaren were aware of the talks which were occurring between the two parties, explaining that there was no trouble and that he told CEO of McLaren Zak Brown.
He explained that the talks between Ferrari had been happening over the likes of Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic affecting the season.
“[I’m] not going to give you an exact date, but I’m going to tell you [talks with Ferrari started in the] winter between 2019 and 2020,” he said. “Believe me, the moment I heard that, I went and asked permission [from] Zak, to go and talk to them in a more serious way, without knowing what Zak’s reaction was going to be.
“He immediately came to me and said: ‘Look, it’s an opportunity, go and talk to them and see what they’re about. My Dad, cousin, manager took care of the most important bits.
“But then I was on the phone with Mattia [Binotto, Ferrari team boss] now and then, on the phone with Zak constantly, on the phone with Andreas [Seidl, McLaren team principal].
“[There were] a few Zoom meetings of course, like everyone, but for me the key of this process has been the clarity and the openness of all parties involved to make it happen.
“And just [not having] any awkward ‘around the back’ situations. That makes me incredibly proud and the way it has all been managed makes me feel very happy and very thankful to Zak and his team.“