Loyalty to McLaren, where he still wants to shine in the 2020 World Cup, forces the celebrations to be postponed until December.

Tuesday, minutes after Sebastian Vettel broke his bond with Ferrari, people from Carlos Sainz He worked with that joyous caution of someone who knows that only a few small details remain to be resolved. “A little patience, because some fringes are missing,” they said. This same morning, almost 48 hours later, the Sainz clan unleashed the joy of one who reaches for a checkered flag in first position. So many hours of video conference negotiations had been worth it.

From the family home in Madrid, Sainz savored the happy outcome after two months of confinement. A collective toast with Pegaso, the red from his father’s winery in Cebreros (vila), which now acquires the unmistakable red flashes of Ferrari. “Between all of us we have been paddling in the same direction until fulfilling a dream. Now there is one year left at McLaren, a team that I am very fond of. I want to finish 2020 as best as possible with them,” said the new pilot of the Scuderia.

Loyalty to his friends in Woking did not leave Carlos more time for celebrations. “We will have to wait until December,” admit home. Then it will be a year since the beginning of all this history. A year since Charles Leclerc He extended his contract until 2024, assumed command at Ferrari and unleashed the dominance effect that ends with Sainz at Maranello.

Since Christmas

Mattia Binotto, team leader, had made his position clear John Elkann and Louis Camilleri, the great gyrfalcons. Since December, Ferrari had identified Sainz as the ideal match for Leclerc. They saw him much more qualified for this work than Daniel Ricciardo, a free spirit in search of a destination where to exercise its own leadership. Binotto wanted to imitate, in some way, the successful model of Mercedes, with Valtteri Bottas as unconditional gregarious of Lewis Hamilton. For that very reason, the name of the Finlands held out until the last moment in the pools.

Sainz’s virtues fitted like a mold into Ferrari’s peculiar structure, always tending towards chaos. Nicknamed Smooth Operator Because of the smoothness and poise with which he negotiates critical moments, Carlos enjoys a similar prestige off the track. In the factory, rather than imposing your criteria in a bad way, you are always willing to share information with the engineers. In the style of Jenson Button, far from any delusion of greatness, his image in the paddock it is faultless. And that aspect is essential among the sponsors.

Obviously, the economic issue has played a key role in understanding the entire process. Only seven days ago the Cavallino He admitted a drastic reduction in his income due to the pandemic. So any saving measure in its F1 division, the most prestigious but also the most expensive to maintain, would be an internal success for Binotto, with the firm hand to tighten the pegs to a world tetracampon. And it is that the last offer to Vettel, which charged almost 30 million net, was reduced to less than half.

Ricciardo, ruled out

Ricciardo, with an astronomical record at Renault, close to 20 million euros gross, was immediately ruled out. So Sainz, at around seven million gross in his first year with McLaren, won the game again by hand. The agreed improvement in its payroll, which is around five million net, leaves both parties more than satisfied.

In any case, it is always unfair to leave Carlos’s unquestionable skills on asphalt to last. In 2015, the year of his debut in Toro Rosso, he only lost six cents on average in the private match of the rankings against Max Verstappen. After ridiculing Daniil KvyaatIt took half a season for him to catch the air for Renault, where he also beat an opponent as solid as Nico Hulkenberg. And last year did not fail before Lando Norris, with whom he maintained a healthy rivalry, not without smiles and good times. Carlos fit perfectly into the Ferrari family, Binotto advanced, proud of his pairing Charles-Carlos, the youngest (47 years between them) in the last half century of the Scuderia. Carletto and Carlitos, as they are already murmuring in the corners of Maranello.

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