Ferrari aiming to begin a 'new cycle' with Sainz-Leclerc 'gamble'

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While it's a "gamble", Mattia Binotto says he hopes to start a "new cycle" at Ferrari after signing Carlos Sainz alongside Charles Leclerc from 2021.

In the space of just over two years, the Italian team will go from a line-up with the combined age of 70 at the end of 2018 to just 49 when Sainz arrives to replace Sebastian Vettel next season.

For Ferrari, this is a huge change from their traditional approach of an established lead driver, usually a world champion, and a competitive No.2.

However, Binotto explained his decision as one based on positioning the Scuderia for the future.

"During this period, we've had time to reflect, mull over and reach this conclusion," the Ferrari boss told Sky Italia. "We're pleased with our choice.

"The world has changed during this time and we have to look at the future of F1 in a different light.

"There's a new challenge that we must all embrace and we believe we've singled out the right person to complete our team.

"Carlos Sainz is a young driver and Ferrari haven't had such a young driver pairing in 50 years. It's a gamble for us and we're happy to be taking on this challenge. We want to begin a new cycle.

"It'll be a tough path but putting faith in youngsters is also geared towards that, not just for the drivers, but also for the mechanics. Sainz is a very nice and intelligent guy.

"He is a real team player and works very hard, so having him alongside Charles will be useful.

"He's done well over the last five seasons and has almost always reached the finish line, earning his team so many points in the process."

Also speaking to Sky Italia, Sainz spoke about the unique process that led to his Ferrari move amid the coronavirus.

“They have been very special weeks, but to make a negotiation without ever seeing each other is a strange thing," the Spaniard admitted.

“I was at home with my father and in constant contact with my agent and in the end we managed quite well."

While there is, of course, a lot of reaction and attention on next season, Carlos insists, for now, he wants to focus on what's ahead with his current team.

“Everyone’s thinking about 2021, but now there’s McLaren," he added.

“I have to thank McLaren and the whole team for what they have done for me, I can’t wait to see them in person to thank them.

“I feel like going back to Woking and start working again. I thought that after my announcement someone might be disappointed and instead I received many messages of affection and I want to repay all this on the track.

“I know that here in Spain they are already thinking about 2021 and to see me at the wheel of Ferrari fighting for podiums and victories.

“But now what I want to do is put the Ferrari in the drawer for the moment and think only of McLaren.”

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