Earlier this year, Carlos Sainz signed a two-year contract with the Formula 1 giants, Ferrari. Though Mclaren were not against the switch, Zak Brown reveals that the team could have stopped Sainz from moving to the Italian-based team. He further reveals that they would have kept Sainz if the Daniel Ricciardo signing had not gone through.
While speaking to Formula 1, Brown opens up on how Mclaren could have stopped Sainz from going to Ferrari. “We could have kept him, we had an agreement where we could have stopped that, we had an option,” Brown said. “We tried to get Daniel Ricciardo the first time around a couple of years ago. So he was always the highest on our list. And when Andreas [Seidl] joined, we kept in touch with Daniel.”
“So conversations were started with Daniel. We got the sense he wasn’t happy where he was at [Renault]. So it was more that the stars aligned in that we wanted to explore Daniel. Carlos wanted to explore Ferrari,” Zak said.
“We could have said no, but we had an interest in Daniel and we kind of thought, ‘If we can end up with Daniel and Carlos ends up with Ferrari, that’s a good ending for both of us,” Zak said.
Luckily, it went the way Brown had hoped for. Ferrari decided to let go of their experienced driver, Sebastian Vettel. Sainz was simultaneously chosen as a replacement for the four-time world champion.
Daniel Ricciardo eventually slotted into the vacant spot at Mclaren and will team up with Lando Norris.
Had Daniel Ricciardo said No, Carlos Sainz Would Have Stayed at Mclaren
Zak Brown speaks out that there were no concerns at Mclaren about ending up with not having both Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo. Apparently, the team had a plan the entire time.
“We would have never let Carlos go if we didn’t feel we could have got Daniel,” Zak revealed. “But when we thought that that window was open, we kind of said, ‘Yeah, let’s go explore,’ set a date where we would come back to each other.”
“And it turned out we could get Daniel and Ferrari did want [Carlos]. So, we said, ‘Great, let’s do it,‘” Zak said.
Mclaren managed to get hold of their star driver, Daniel Ricciardo, for the next season. To make it even better, Mclaren also signed a deal with the Mercedes for their Power Unit after terminating the relationship post-2014 season.