Formula 1: Daniel Ricciardo moves to McLaren to replace Carlos Sainz for 2021 season, to partner Lando Norris
Daniel Ricciardo will join McLaren for the 2021 season thereby taking the seat currently occupied by Carlos Sainz.
In the second driver switch of the week, Daniel Ricciardo will be moving to McLaren on a multi-year deal. The Australian replaces Carlos Sainz who is expected to join Ferrari in place of Sebastian Vettel. The switcheroo of drivers was instigated after Vettel and Ferrari mutually decided to not extend the contract for the next season.
Ricciardo is currently in the middle of a two-year deal with Renault after he left Red Bull Racing at the end of 2018 to join the French manufacturer.
McLaren have also confirmed that current driver Lando Norris will remain with them in 2021, partnering Ricciardo.
McLaren boss Zak Brown has overseen major reorganisation since taking over from Ron Dennis, bringing in Andreas Seidl as Team Principal and James Key as Technical Director as they look to win their first constructors championship since 1998. Landing a highly-rated race winning driver in 30-year-old Ricciardo is another coup for Brown.
“Signing Daniel is another step forward in our long-term plan and will bring an exciting new dimension to the team, alongside Lando. This is good news for our team, partners and of course our fans," he said in a statement.
“I also want to pay tribute to Carlos for the excellent job he has been doing for McLaren in helping our performance recovery plan. He is a real team player and we wish him well for his future beyond McLaren.”
Seidl added: “Daniel is a proven race-winner and his experience, commitment and energy will be a valuable addition to McLaren and our mission to return to the front of the field. With Daniel and Lando as teammates, I believe we have two racers who will continue to excite our fans and help the team grow.
“Carlos is a true professional, a pleasure to work with and we will continue to enjoy going racing with him this year. We all wish him good luck for the next stage in his career when he leaves McLaren.”
Fernando Alonso said he "intends to win again" after Aston Martin announced Monday that he would be joining the team on a multi-year contract from 2023
The 27-year-old Canadian claimed an unlikely first session-topping position of his career with a best lap in one minute and 41.480 seconds to outpace Leclerc by 0.661 seconds, with his Williams team-mate Alex Albon third, nine-tenths adrift
The Red Bull world champion registered his eighth win of the season and 28th of his career ahead of Mercedes duo, Lewis Hamilton and pole-sitter George Russell.