Carlos Sainz recorded his first Formula 1 pole position at the Brazilian Grand Prix. But that doesn't tell the full story. The McLaren driver...
Carlos Sainz Jr. is a Formula 1 driver for McLaren. The Spanish driver left Renault F1 team in 2019 and teamed up with McLaren for his first ever permanent seat in the sport. Sainz is only 24-years-old and is the son of former double World Rally Champion, Carlos Sainz.
His team-mate at McLaren is Lando Norris – with the duo replacing the retiring Fernando Alonso and the underperforming Stoffel Vandoorne.
Carlos Sainz: Big shoes to fill
The love and talent for motorsport clearly runs through the Sainz family – and with his father being so successful in rally-car racing, Carlos Jr. had some big shoes to fill. Sainz started karting in his birth place of Madrid and his first piece of noticeable silverware came in 2008, when he won the Asia-Pacific KF3 title.
A year on, the young Spaniard would go onto win even more honours – taking the prestigious Junior Monaco Kart Cup crown. His impressive young career in racing earned him a seat at Formula BMW Europe; racing for the Euro International side, as well as a place in the Red Bull junior programme. In 2012, Sainz started racing in Formula 3 – winning five races and also secured nine podiums.
GP3 was the next chapter in the Spanish driver’s story, signing with Arden; an outfit owned by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and former driver Mark Webber. But it wasn’t a long stay in F3 for Sainz when Scuderia Toro Rosso came calling for the Spaniard’s services.
The Spaniard’s rise at Toro Rosso
On the 28 November 2014, it was confirmed that Sainz would drive for the Red Bull junior side for the 2015 season. Sainz would drive alongside Max Verstappen – who is now with Red Bull – following Daniil Kvyat being called up to the main squad.
The season opener in Australia was Sainz’s debut F1 race and it was an enjoyable one for the Toro Rosso #55, who managed to finish in ninth position. The Spaniard also managed to finish seventh in the USA, but that proved to be his final points finish of the season, finishing 15th in his rookie campaign.
2016 saw a season of slight improvement for the driver, as he secured a 12th place finish in the drivers’ standings. Sainz recorded three sixth place finishes in 2016. In the 2017 season, Sainz secured an impressive fourth place in Singapore, but on the same weekend, it was announced he’d be moving onto Renault for the 2017-18 campaign.
Next destination: Renault
Renault was next for Sainz, with the driver replacing Jolyon Palmer to partner Nico Hulkenberg for the former world champions. Sainz’s first race for the French outfit came in America, where he out-qualified Hulkenberg and managed a P7 finish.
In his first full season for Renault, Sainz made a positive start, when he scored in five of the opening six grands prix. However, Hulkenberg’s form meant he’d still be outperforming his team-mate.
Azerbaijan saw a season-high of fifth place for the Spanish driver – ending the season in 10th place with 53 points, which was three places below his team-mate.
Fresh start at McLaren
Sainz was confirmed as McLaren’s new driver in August 2018, following Alonso’s announcement that he’d be leaving F1 at the end of the season. This seems like a fresh start for the 24-year-old, who will be part of an all-new driver line-up for the British side, as they look to return towards the front-end of the F1 grid in 2019.
Carlos Sainz News
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