Carlos Sainz insists he has not signed for Ferrari to play a supporting role to Charles Leclerc during the 2021 Formula 1 season.

Sainz will partner Leclerc at Ferrari next season having agreed a two-year deal to replace Sebastian Vettel at the Maranello squad, after contract talks between the two sides broke down.

There have been suggestions that Ferrari identified Sainz as the ideal candidate to play a back-up role to support Leclerc in 2021, but the Spaniard stressed his contract included nothing about team status.

"I have not signed anything that says I’m the second driver,” Sainz said during an interview on Radio Marca.

“In my contract it says, as in all those I have signed, that the team is above the driver, but does not put anything about second place or supporting anyone.”

“What I know is that I will give everything for Ferrari and I will give everything they need, especially to try to win.

“I do not care about the colour of the car. I treat all drivers equally, we are all rivals and we must go for all. If there is a complicated situation, I would make the right decision, don't worry.”

Before he switches to Ferrari, Sainz will contest the upcoming campaign with McLaren and he is determined to end his tenure at the Woking squad on the strongest possible note, after helping the team secure fourth place in the constructors' championship last year. 

"I think they are going to tell me everything because I can still help them a lot in the remainder of the year and for next year,” Sainz explained.

“I have asked them to keep me informed because I am the first one who wants to see McLaren on the podium as soon as possible, and I think that I can help them as I have helped in the last year.

“Also, since I think we are ending the relationship in a very good way, I think that we would both benefit from telling each other and developing the car together.”

 

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