Carlos Sainz paid his first visit at Scuderia Ferrari’s Maranello headquarter on Friday when he met some of the engineers and completed his first seat fitting.
Ferrari announced in May that Carlos Sainz will join Scuderia Ferrari on a two-year contract from the 2021 season partnering Charles Leclerc and replacing Sebastian Vettel. The Madrid-born driver made his F1 debut with Toro Rosso in 2015. Since his debut, he has raced for Renault and McLaren.
After Renault announced that it reached an agreement with the FIA which allowed Fernando Alonso to take part at the Young Driver Test, Ferrari also intended to give Sainz the opportunity to get behind the wheel of its current F1 car. However, the team did not get the permission from the FIA.
On Friday, Sainz met some of the Ferrari engineers and mechanics with whom he will be working and at the end of the morning, he was joined by Charles Leclerc, also in Maranello for some end-of-season meetings. The Spaniard and the Monegasque also put in an appearance in a virtual lunch meeting for journalists, with the Scuderia Team Principal and Managing Director, Mattia Binotto.
The 26-year-old driver, who will be Ferrari’s third Spanish driver after Fernando Alonso and Marquis Alfonso de Portago, will make his on-track debut for Ferrari in January 2021 when the Scuderia organizes a test run for him with the two-year-old SF71H. The 2018 F1 Ferrari was the car with which Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc could shake off the rust at Mugello at the end of June following the long lockdown period.
The SF71H was also in action in September when three members of the Ferrari Driver Academy, Mick Schumacher, Callum Ilott and Robert Shwartzman tested at Fiorano in order to get acquainted with the characteristics of a Formula One race car.
Moreover, Ferrari also confirmed that it will rename its current car for the 2021 season. The coronavirus pandemic forced the sport to introduce cost-cutting measures and one of the measures will see teams carry over the base of their current cars into 2021. Red Bull, therefore, decided to add a B to the RB16 name in order to show that their 2021 car will be based on the current machinery due to the modifications to the Sporting Regulations.
Ferrari, however, will completely rename its troublesome SF1000, switching to the SF21 code. The new car is expected to feature a totally-redesigned power unit and an upgraded aerodynamic package.