While the trudge towards the much delayed new starting date for the 2020 season has never felt anything less than painstakingly slow, last week the series received a much-welcomed dose of adrenaline after Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari confirmed it will part ways at the end of the year.

Ironically, it had the coronavirus to thanks for the exciting frenzy that followed, one that reminded us of the ‘good old days’ of rumours bubbling around the F1 paddock.

For a series where such wild speculation can spread across the length and breadth of the paddock in the time it takes you to finish your lunch, the absence of any physical racing meant unusually both media and fans were hearing this one first-hand at the same time.

Thereafter things moved quickly as first Daniel Ricciardo was unveiled as McLaren’s new signing for 2021, replacing Carlos Sainz, who in turn was confirmed to be on his way to Maranello just 48 hours after he was first even mentioned as a potential candidate for the drive.

In those 48 hours, Sainz made the switch transition from mid-field stalwart to F1’s elite and on paper in a role that will see him judged with the same degree of expectation as Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen and Alex Albon.

For a driver with just a single podium to his name, Sainz beat several other seasoned race winners to the spot – so why exactly Ferrari going off-book for its youngest driver line-up yet and why is Sainz exactly the right leftfield punt for its new generation approach?

 

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