Carlos Sainz signs to Ferrari for 2021 season

Published: 13 May 2020

► Sainz looks set to replace Vettel
► Leaving his seat free for Renault
► Ricciardo should race alongside Lando Norris

Vettel's announcement has triggered a tsunami of driver movements, with Spanish racer Carlos Sainz signed to race alongside young Monegasque ace Charles LeClerc at Ferrari.

Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo will jump ship from Renault to McLaren, in the wake of the confirmation of Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel's departure from Ferrari.

Ricciardo to McLaren

With Sainz now officially bound for Maranello this, in turn, has freed up a seat at a revitalised McLaren, which is finding success after a period in the doldrums.

It's this success that has attracted Australian Daniel Ricciardo, whose switch from Red Bull to Renault in 2019 has - unsurprisingly to some - netted nothing in the way of results.

It's well known that McLaren courted Ricciardo in 2018 as the Aussie F1 ace with seven wins to his name struggled to decide on a future away from the Red Bull team he'd called home for a decade.

Ricciardo signed for the French powerhouse team over the UK outfit under the illusion that Renault would produce the pace that has carried it to multiple world titles during its time in F1.

However, Ricciardo's best place in 2019 was fourth, suffering an ignominious self-inflicted wing failure in his first Australian Grand Prix with the team.

And in F1, you are only as good as the car you find yourself in - as Mark Webber can attest.

His two-year contract was a lucrative one for the 30-year-old, but it hasn't heralded a return to fortune for Renault.

By contrast, McLaren's fortunes could not have gotten any lower at the end of 2017, after an acrimonious split with engine supplier Honda pushed the famed UK team into the hands of - somewhat ironically for Ricciardo - Renault to supply its power units.

Since then, the Woking-based team has come on in leaps and bounds, and is now the fourth-best team in pit lane behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

If the strong rumours emanating from many senior pundits in the F1 pit lane are true, then Ricciardo will join the McLaren team at a time where it's about to switch from Renault to Mercedes power.

McLaren-Mercedes formed one of the most dynamic partnerships in the modern F1 age before Mercedes acquired the Brawn F1 team to form its own squad in 2014.

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and the crushing effect that it's had on new car sales, though, there is a small possibility that Mercedes will announce that it's pulling out of F1 at the end of 2020.