Carlos Sainz Jr. has recalled his recent contract negotiations with Ferrari, which he described as “strange”, and thanked his McLaren team for their support.
Last week Sainz was announced as Sebastian Vettel’s replacement at the Italian outfit next year, which will see him partner Charles Leclerc.
With much of the world still in lockdown, Sainz was therefore unable to travel to Maranello to conduct face-to-face negotiations and instead he and his manager did everything by phone, which he admitted was “strange”.
“It has been a very special week,” the Spaniard told Sky Italia. “Negotiating without ever seeing each other is a strange thing.
“I was at home with my father and in constant contact with my agent and in the end we did quite well.”
Sainz, who will see out his final season with McLaren this year before swapping orange for red, thanked the team for their support after they opted to release him – having held an option to extend his deal by another season.
“I have to thank McLaren and the whole team for what they have done for me. Now I look forward to seeing them in person to thank them. I want to go back to Woking and start working again.
“I thought that after my announcement someone could be angry and instead I received many messages of affection and esteem and I want to repay everything.
“I know that here in Spain they are already thinking about 2021 to see me behind the wheel of a Ferrari, fighting for podiums and victories. But now what I want to do is put Ferrari in the drawer for a moment and think only of McLaren.”