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Formula 1 and Silverstone have agreed on a deal for two grands prix to be held at the British track this season behind closed doors, after reaching a compromise last week.
However, the United Kingdom’s plans to implement a two-week quarantine for all international arrivals may put an added burden and hamper the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)’s plans to have a 15-18 race World Championship calendar this year.
Since seven of the 10 teams competing in F1 have bases in the UK, this restriction would put an additional burden on travelling staff, especially in the case of accidents which require a return to their factories.
However, F1 is trying to secure an exemption for its staff from this rule. The timing of the two races has not been confirmed, except that they will be during the summer.
E Ferrari announced that Sebastian Vettel will be leaving the Formula 1 team at the end of the 2020 season and will be replaced by Spaniard Carlos Sainz. Vettel is being courted by several teams after a fifth-position finish in last year’s disappointing season.
2021 will be the first year that Ferrari does not have a current or former World Champion racing in their ranks. However, Sainz’s appointment for the 2021 season follows a career-best sixth position finish for the Drivers’ Championship last year at McLaren.
Team principal Mattia Binotto was quick to underline his experience: “With five seasons already behind him, Carlos has proved to be very talented and has shown that he has the technical ability and the right attributes to make him an ideal fit with our family.
“We’ve embarked on a new cycle with the aim of getting back to the top in Formula 1. It will be a long journey, not without its difficulties, especially given the current financial and regulatory situation, which is undergoing a sudden change and will require this challenge to be tackled in a different way to the recent past.”
E Carlos Sainz will be replaced by Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren, following the signing of a multi-year deal.
The Australian is currently partway through a two-year deal with Renault after he left Red Bull at the end of 2018 to join the French manufacturer, but has now clearly decided McLaren are a better bet for his future, especially with Mercedes engines from next year.
McLaren boss Zak Brown has overseen a major reorganisation since taking over from former chief Ron Dennis, noting: “Signing Daniel is another step forward in our long-term plan and will bring an exciting new dimension to the team. 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.”