McLaren “Had the Ability” to Stop Carlos Sainz From Joining Ferrari, But Didn’t: Here’s Why

Published 09/15/2020, 8:34 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Tuscan Grand Prix – Mugello, Scarperia e San Piero, Italy – McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. during a press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Carlos Sainz’s move to Ferrari come 2021 is a widely recognized fact. He is slated to replace the departing Sebastian Vettel, who moves to Aston Martin for 2021. Although Daniel Ricciardo was on the Scuderia’s shortlist, they ultimately decided on the Spanish driver.

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But, as luck would have it, McLaren themselves had been chasing Daniel Ricciardo for quite some time. And on this occasion, they were able to strike a deal with the Honey badger.

Formula One F1 – Tuscan Grand Prix – Mugello, Scarperia e San Piero, Italy – Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo during a press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Speaking on the podcast ‘In The Fast Lane’, they quoted McLaren CEO Zak Brown as saying, “We had the ability to stop him (Sainz) from going to another team. But, you know, we have always wanted Daniel Ricciardo.

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“We tried to get him in our team a couple years ago. And it was one of those where the stars aligned. We obviously, would have only allowed (Sainz move to Ferrari) to happen if we could get someone of Daniel’s ability.”

McLaren will start feeling more optimistic from 2021

Expected to form a strong driver lineup for next season, McLaren seems to have improved over the last few years. They finished 9th twice in 2015 and 2017, which was an absolute low point for them.

Given the history and standards they have set for themselves, one would expect McLaren to be in the top half more often.

Formula One F1 – Tuscan Grand Prix – Mugello, Scarperia e San Piero, Italy – McLaren’s Lando Norris during practice Miguel Medina/Pool via REUTERS

This season, they sit in 3rd place in the Constructors’ standings. And as 2021 draws closer, with technical regulations’ changes on the horizon, things are finally looking up for McLaren.

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As reported at the start of this season, McLaren will be the only team to change their chassis for 2021. It came as a technical rule to allow McLaren to accommodate their new Mercedes engine after their deal with Renault comes to an end this season.

Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris will be a partnership to look forward to. An experienced individual and a talented rookie, Zak Brown will be pleased to see this lineup take to the field.

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Although McLaren will not start as title contenders, expect them to push the big boys and constantly fight for what’s theirs.

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McLaren the Only Team Allowed to Change Chassis for 2021 to Accommodate Mercedes Engine

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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