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Sainz on pole for Ferrari

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Sebastian Vettel. Pic: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel. Pic: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel. Pic: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Spaniard Carlos Sainz is on pole position to be Charles Leclerc's team mate at Ferrari next year, with Australian Daniel Ricciardo set to replace him at McLaren according to Formula One sources.

Reports in Spain and Italy indicate talks between McLaren's Sainz and Ferrari are at an advanced stage.

There was also speculation that Spain's double world champion Fernando Alonso, who left Formula One at the end of 2018, could make a comeback with Renault -- the team he won his titles with in 2005 and 2006.

"I see a scenario which is Sainz to Ferrari, Ricciardo to McLaren, and then that leaves a seat at Renault that probably would be Alonso," said former F1 driver and Sky Sports television pundit Martin Brundle.

The driver merry-go-round was triggered by Ferrari's announcement on Tuesday that four times world champion Sebastian Vettel would be leaving at the end of this year.

Vettel's future remains uncertain, with retirement a possibility.

"What's been happening in these past few months has led many of us to reflect on what are our real priorities in life," the German said in Ferrari's statement.

The 2020 championship has yet to start due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with countries in lockdown and drivers dispersed around the world.