• Ferrari likely to sign Carlos Sainz as Vettel's replacement for F1 2021
  • Sainz joined McLaren last season
  • The reports have suggested Riccardo could replace Sainz at McLaren

McLaren driver Carlos Sainz reportedly could replace Sebastian Vettel as Charles Leclerc's partner in Ferrari in F1 2021 season.

Vettel and Ferrari have mutually agreed that the German will not renew his contract that will expire at the end of the 2020 season, which has not begun yet to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The four-time champion has made it clear that there was “no longer common desire” to work together. “In order to get the best possible results in this sport, it's vital for all parties to work in perfect harmony. Financial matters have played no part in this joint decision. That's not the way I think when it comes to making certain choices and it never will be."

"What's been happening in these past few months has led many of us to reflect on what is our real priorities in life. One needs to use one's imagination and to adopt a new approach to a situation that has changed. I myself will take the time I need to reflect on what really matters when it comes to my future,” Vettel added in an interview.

Plenty to think about: Ferrari's driver Sebastian Vettel
Plenty to think about: Ferrari's driver Sebastian Vettel AFP / LLUIS GENE

Soon after Vettel’s exit news was revealed, a few reports had emerged that had stated three drivers as the German’s possible replacement: Sainz, Daniel Riccardo and Antonio Giovinazzi. While these three drivers would pounce on the first opportunity to drive for an iconic team like Ferrari, the BBC has reported that the "Prancing Horses" have shortlisted Sainz as their second driver next season, who earned the call after his impressive first season at McLaren last year.

On the other hand, Riccardo reportedly may have already signed a deal with McLaren as the British F1 side has been chasing the former Red Bull racer for a while now. Although there are no official announcements about these two moves yet, the report further read that Ferrari and McLaren could be breaking the news in the coming week.

Ferrari could hand Sainz a role similar to Valtteri Bottas’ at Mercedes. The Finnish racer has been quick enough to push Hamilton to an edge but has never been given the position of being the front-runner of the team. One can expect the same scenario at Ferrari in 2021 with Sainz and their star driver, Leclerc.