Carlos Sainz insists it would have been “very difficult to say no to” Ferrari despite its difficult 2020 Formula 1 campaign. 

The Scuderia moved to sign the Spaniard from McLaren to replace four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel in its line-up for 2021 back in May last year, prior to the 2020 season getting underway. 

While Sainz played a vital role in helping McLaren to clinch third place in the constructors’ championship, Ferrari endured woeful performance and slumped to its worst result in F1 since 1980, finishing a lowly sixth in the teams’ standings. 

Speaking to select media including about what convinced him to leave an improving McLaren team for Ferrari, Sainz said: "First of all, you are driving for Ferrari - I don’t think there is much more to say. 

"Becoming a Ferrari driver is in every driver's mind and every driver's dreams. Independently of the situation, it's very, very difficult to say no to that.

"At that point, I was pretty convinced that as an Italian team...I'd always felt comfortable with Toro Rosso, and I always felt like Ferrari could be a good place for me.

"I know Italian, I know some people there, and I felt like I could have a successful time there immediately.

"Apart from that, I think sentimentally, driving for the most successful team in the history of the sport is always the dream of any Formula 1 driver.”

Sainz has repeatedly rejected suggestions he might regret his switch to Ferrari given that teams are carrying over their 2020 chassis into the upcoming campaign, and the 26-year-old is convinced the Maranello outfit is heading in the right direction despite its difficult season. 

"I've had positive conversations with people there, and I see people in good spirits, ready to fight on a good comeback,” he explained. 

"Everyone there is pushing flat out, and you can see clearly in the progression Ferrari has had this year after such a difficult start.

"They've clearly developed the car and they are in a much better place now than they were six, seven months ago.

"Hopefully we can do the next step together and I can help them also to keep finding a way, and keep finding performance with the car.

"But I wouldn't move to a team if I didn't have a good feeling about it, that's for sure."