Sainz was chosen as the man to replace Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari, signing a two-year deal to partner Charles Leclerc for the 2021 and 2022 campaigns.
The Spaniard has spent the last two seasons with McLaren, forging a strong and special partnership with fellow McLaren driver Lando Norris and the rest of the team.
As he now bids them farewell for the start of a new chapter, McLaren posted the following message, with the help of Norris, team principal Andreas Seidl and McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown, on social media to their rival and friend, Ferrari.
💬 A message to our friends at @ScuderiaFerrari and to the famous tifosi.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) December 16, 2020
“To our friends at Scuderia Ferrari and to the famous Tifosi,” the message began.
“Today we want to send you a message. You were and you are among our oldest and fiercest rivals. We respect your history and legacy, as we do our own.
“We relish every battle with the red team. McLaren and Ferrari are like two opposite poles that attract each other. You are both opponent and friend, and we have respect for the Scuderia and the Tifosi.
“So, at this time of goodwill to all people, we send you a gift. We have looked after it for two years. We looked after him and helped him grow.
“Now, it’s your turn. Take care of him, like we did.
“See you on the track next year. Ciao and Merry Christmas.”
Sainz woke up on Wednesday morning to see this message on social media and thanked McLaren for their “class” gesture.
— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) December 16, 2020
Ferrari replied: “Thank you so much for this beautiful gift. Don’t worry, we’ll take care of Carlos! See you next season.”
McLaren are now preparing to build on their P3 finish in the Constructors’ Championship with their new driver line-up: Norris and Daniel Ricciardo.
Hopefully they can provide as much entertainment on and off the track as Norris and Sainz did!