McLaren has confirmed the signing of Daniel Ricciardo on a multi-year contract from 2021 onwards, in place of Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz.
Sebastian Vettel’s failure to agree a new contract at Ferrari triggered a number of moves, with the Scuderia opting to sign Sainz as partner to Charles Leclerc. In turn that opened up a seat at McLaren, and after just missing out on Ricciardo back in 2018 when he left Red Bull for Renault, the team has now secured the Australian alongside Lando Norris.
“Signing Daniel is another step forward in our long-term plan and will bring an exciting new dimension to the team, alongside Lando,” McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said. “This is good news for our team, partners and of course our fans.
“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.”
The deal for Ricciardo is described as a “multi-year agreement” and will see him join after the 2020 season, should racing take place. McLaren also confirmed Norris’ seat for next year at the same time. The announcement of Ricciardo was made before Sainz’s destination was confirmed, and means McLaren will replace a younger driver with one podium in his career with the 30-year-old Australian who has so far won seven grands prix, something team principal Andreas Seidl says will be a key asset.
“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,” Seidl said. “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.”