Ferrari want Sainz to be part of ‘long cycle’

Jon Wilde
Carlos Sainz Charles Leclerc

Mattia Binotto is looking to Carlos Sainz to join fellow driver Charles Leclerc in being part of a “long cycle” in the Ferrari team.

In a chain reaction of F1 driver switches for 2021, announced before this season had even begun, Ferrari confirmed Sainz will take the place of Sebastian Vettel.

The Spaniard, 26, has signed a two-year contract with the Scuderia, while Leclerc is tied down until 2024, and obviously how long Sainz stays will depend on his own performances – and those of the team.

Team principal Binotto has already revealed that both drivers will be based close to Ferrari’s HQ at Maranello in order to have the required input into the development of the car.

But in an interview with the official F1 website, Binotto clearly is not thinking short-term as he wants Leclerc and Sainz to “create solid foundations” that will help the Italian giants build a project that takes them back towards the front of the F1 pack following this season’s struggles.

Carlos Sainz Ferrari
Carlos Sainz

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Speaking about Sainz’s arrival from McLaren next season, Binotto said: “I’m very excited. We made our choice and I think we made the right choice.

“I’m very pleased with Carlos joining the team, very pleased with our line-up. Both of them are very young, starting to have some experience.

“We are looking not only for a victory but for a long cycle, creating solid foundations, and when you are trying to create solid foundations and basing it on a young team, not only engineers, technicians but drivers, it’s the choice [you should make].”

Binotto also expressed his delight that Vettel will remain on the grid next season after speculation over the four-time former World Champion’s future was finally laid to rest with news that he will be joining Aston Martin, the rebranded Racing Point team.

“I’m really very, very happy,” said Binotto, asked for his response to the news.

“I think the fact we decided very early and we communicated to him very early [that he wouldn’t be re-signed] was to give him a chance to find a seat, and the fact he found a seat is a success as well for us.

“So I’m very happy for him as a driver, as a person, and happy for Formula 1 because I think retaining Sebastian in the circus is important. I think it’s a great result.”

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