Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya

Verstappen tips Sainz over Ricciardo for Vettel’s Ferrari seat

2021 F1 season

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Max Verstappen believes one of his former team mates is likely to take the seat at Ferrari which Sebastian Vettel has vacated.

In a social media interview with former F1 driver David Coulthard, the pair discussed rumours Carlos Sainz Jnr and Daniel Ricciardo are in the running for Vettel’s seat.

Asked whether Vettel’s replacement might be “a driver with an Italian-sounding name or a driver with a Spanish-sounding name”, Verstappen said “I think it’s not going to be the Italian-sounding name.

“So let’s see. At the end of the day it’s just a guess so we have to wait and see.”

Verstappen and Sainz drove together at Toro Rosso in 2015 and the first part of the 2016 season before Verstappen was promoted to Red Bull.

Sainz was passed over for promotion to the top team and spent a year on loan to Renault in 2018. He was replaced by Ricciardo and moved to McLaren, where he ended 2019 sixth in the championship, and leading midfield driver.

Verstappen extended his contract to drive for Red Bull at the beginning of this year, ruling him out as a possible replacement for Vettel. “It’s definitely not me, I can tell you,” he said. “I’m at Red Bull.”

“It’s a great team and I’m sure they will make the right decision about the next driver,” he added.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “Verstappen tips Sainz over Ricciardo for Vettel’s Ferrari seat”

  1. Is there a link to the interview? Because that title man…
    From just this article it could just as well be Giovanazzi or Alonso they were talking about


    1. OK found the video… No names were mentioned. No other hints or suggestions to point in a direction apart from ‘Italian/Spanish sounding name’

      (Alonso is far fetched, ok, but it was to make a point)

  2. Ricciardo going to Ferrari could be like McLaren 2007, two A-drivers on an internal battle loosing the title, or RBR 2018 and McLaren 1989, where you end up loosing one of them at the end of season.

    That’s RIC curse after Baku, when he tried to fix with his own hands what RBR could have done with team orders. Of course VER would not comply, but that’s another story.

    RIC could be driving a Mercedes powered McLaren next year, not exactly a bad thing…

    1. Great developments. I hope Sainz will go to Ferrari and Ricciardo to McLaren. Ricciardo will come out as the winner of all of this. McLaren clearly on the way up. Sainz already beaten in quali by Rookie Norris, so perfect nr 2 at Ferrari. Ricciardo in his McLaren best of the rest (outside the top 3 teams) and maybe sometimes in the mix with the top teams. Cool

  3. What I want: I would love to see Danny because, I mean, it’s the coolest guy in the paddock. He’s also a proven race winner.

    What I think: Sainz would be great, but he’s in a very good team and both are on the rise: is the brand name enough to risk being kicked by Leclerc? When you’re already in another team with a great heritage? Maybe from any other team the jump would be a no-brainer, but I think he’s on something very promising for the future. Don’t forget he’ll be pushed my a Mercedes PU soon.

    What I fear: Ferrari will chicken out after 2019 and Brazil flashbacks, we now know what would happen with two alpha males in this team. Hulkenberg, Giovinazzi or Schumacher if they want a PR stunt. And that’s fine in the end, because there’s actually no need for two WC candidates in the team.

  4. Aston martin = vettel

  5. Sainz seems comfortable at McLaren, and Ferrari would be a risk, but one possibly worth taking with rule changes benefitting manufacturer resources. If he was to go, would be fun if he was replaced by Russell (ok, would never happen).

  6. While I get the allure of wearing the red fire suit and driving the red car, I think RIC is better off at McLaren in the short term. Ferrari’s management proved last year they have no idea how to handle two competitive drivers and let the situation get out of control to the point where it affected their results in the championship. They also proved they are not at the same level as Mercedes and Red Bull in race strategy. Until Ferrari demonstrates it knows how to handle two drivers of LEC and RIC’s status’ I would stay away. I also think the very open RIC would struggle under Ferrari’s restrictive media policies. Thankfully Ron Denis is gone from McLaren otherwise I could never have seen that working out for him. I think, if in two or three years time, Ferrari demonstrate they can handle two drivers like this, get on top of their race strategies and open up a bit, RIC could make a move over at that point if he really wants to drive a red car.

  7. Max knows carlos is inferior to Daniel. Maybe max would be jealous of Dani.

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