It’s been a while since we saw any movement in the driver market. Now that the season is scheduled to start in just 6 days, it is safe to assume that we will not be seeing any movement between drivers and teams for quite some time.
It was Sebastian Vettel’s decision to part with Ferrari that put the transfer roundabout into action.
After that, we saw Ferrari move swiftly to snap up Carlos Sainz, while McLaren decided to replace the departing Spaniard, with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.
At the end of it all, Vettel is the one left without a drive for 2021. However, if one is wondering why McLaren didn’t consider a simple swap – Sebastian Vettel for Sainz – their CEO Zak Brown provides us with the answer.
Two years ago, McLaren was vying for Ricciardo, who was to leave Red Bull. However, with McLaren enduring a disappointing season, the Australian instead chose Renault.
Since then, the marked improvement shown by the Woking-based outfit last year has lured Ricciardo to fill up their vacancy for 2021.
In an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, McLaren CEO, Brown said, “Sebastian is a real champion. But we had tried to lure Daniel to us two years ago. That did not work. But he remained our first choice in case he would be free. So this is not a vote of confidence against Sebastian.
“We also couldn’t be sure whether we would get Sebastian at all. There are still a lot of rumors about his future. We have kept loose contact with Daniel for the past two years. When the opportunity came, we took it.
“When we found out that Sebastian would be on the market, we had already reached a handshake with Daniel.”
However, snapping back to current times, both Vettel and Ricciardo still have a job to do at Ferrari and Renault respectively this year.
For the former, who has got nothing to lose, he would hope to impress the likes of Mercedes, while the latter would hope to leave the French team with a podium under his belt.