Ferrari sizing up Sainz as Vettel replacement
- Author: Lawrence Cooper May 14, 2020,
May 14, 2020, 0:24
Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff says his team can't ignore the big news of the week - Sebastian Vettel's departure from Ferrari - despite a "loyalty" to its current driver line-up.
Talks are apparently ongoing between the McLaren driver and Ferrari, with an announcement expected this week.
Ferrari are closing in on a replacement for Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz is reported to be the favourite to take the German's seat in 2021.
Separate reports said Australian Daniel Ricciardo would leave Renault to replace Sainz, who has yet to win a grand prix, at McLaren.
It is possible both teams could make announcements by the end of the week.
"This is a really odd time in that driver contracts are coming to their end, to fruition, and teams are having to make decisions based on the future, with no current season as an indicator", Brundle told Sky Sports on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old earned his first F1 podium result with a third-place finish at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix behind Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly.
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Vettel and Ferrari said Tuesday that 2020 would be the last of six seasons together.
"This is a really odd time in that driver contracts are coming to their end and teams are having to make decisions based on the future with no current season as an indicator", said Brundle.
"So this plays into the hands of young but experienced young drivers". The new kids in town haven't had a chance to prove themselves as a Leclerc or [Max] Verstappen of the future, for example.
Daniel Ricciardo, whose contract with Renault expires at the end of the year, has emerged as the front runner to take over from Sainz, and both Formula One teams appear poised to freshen up their stables.
Victor of seven grands prix for Red Bull, his best result with Renault to date is fourth place and he has been keeping his options open.
"With a view to the future, we are primarily committed to loyalty to our current Mercedes drivers, but of course we can not ignore this development".