Carlos Sainz says being unable to negotiate his Ferrari Formula 1 contract face to face was a “strange” experience. 

Sainz was announced as Sebastian Vettel’s successor at Ferrari last week, with the Spaniard signing a two-year deal to join the Scuderia from McLaren in 2021. Four-time world champion Vettel will leave the team upon the expiry of his current contract at the end of the year. 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, discussions between Sainz and Ferrari were carried out contact-free via video calls or over the phone.

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"It has been a very special week, negotiating without ever seeing each other is a strange thing,” Sainz told Sky Italia.

“I was at home with my father and in constant contact with my agent and in the end we did quite well.”

Sainz also paid thanks to McLaren and insisted his full focus remains on the upcoming 2020 season, which will mark his second and final year with the Woking outfit before he switches to Maranello. 

"If Ferrari's offer has arrived 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,” he said.

"I want to go back to Woking and start working again. I thought that after my announcement someone could get sick and instead I received many messages of affection and esteem.

“I want to repay everything and I know that here in Spain they are already thinking about 2021 to see me behind the wheel of 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.”