McLaren has released a video message on social media bidding farewell to Carlos Sainz as he leaves the team to take up a new seat at Ferrari.
The Spanish driver opted to sign for the Scuderia back in May, before the delayed start to the 2020 season. He will replace Sebastian Vettel who is bound for a place with the newly rebranded Aston Martin squad.
But in the months since then, McLaren has successfully clinched third place in the constructors championship and Sainz himself recorded his best result in F1 to date with second place at Monza.
Things look very different at Ferrari which ended up sixth in the standings, and four-time former champion Vettel himself has struggled to finish in the top ten all season.
If Sainz is having any second thoughts about leaving Woking and his 'bromance' with team mate Lando Norris then the message released by the team this week will definitely tug at his heart strings.
The message bore the hashtag #AdiosCarlos and began: “To our friends at Scuderia Ferrari and to the famous Tifosi, today we want to send you a message.
"You were and you are among our oldest and fiercest rivals. We respect your history and legacy as we do our own. We relish every battle with the red team.
"McLaren and Ferrari are like two opposite poles that attract each other. You are both opponent and friend, and we have respect for the Scuderia and the Tifosi.
A message to our friends at @ScuderiaFerrari and to the famous tifosi.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) December 16, 2020
“So at this time of goodwill to all people, we send you a gift. We have looked after it for two years. We looked after him and helped him grow. Now, it’s your turn. Take care of him, like we did.
“See you on the track next year. Ciao and Merry Christmas," the message concluded.
Among the team personnel involved in making the video and displaying varying degrees of fluency in Italian were Lando Norris, team principal Andreas Seidl and McLaren CEO Zak Brown.
Sainz saw the message when he checked in on social media on Wednesday morning, and immediately responded.
"Woke up to this. Weird how a little video can make you feel so special and loved. This is class from my friends at McLaren. Grazie amici. Ci vediamo in pista."
Sainz will be replaces at Woking by Daniel Ricciardo who ended his tenture with the Renault team at Abu Dhabi by swiping a bonus point for setting the fastest lap of the race at the very end.