There's no action on-track from Formula 1 teams or drivers through the winter break, but the social media channels continue to tick over. In...
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
Brown believes the removal of "politics within McLaren" has helped team improve
McLaren's 2019 F1 season was successful. For the first time in years, the Woking-based team made significant improvements in more or less every...
Lando Norris backs McLaren to "win races and championships" in the near future
Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz get on really well off the track. It is this relationship at McLaren that has helped bring them the success they...
Helmut Marko: "Carlos is fast - but he's not a Verstappen"
Helmut Marko says that Aston Martin Red Bull Racing made the correct decision to let Carlos Sainz go despite his superb season for McLaren in...
Watch: McLaren season review
2019 was a success by most accounts for McLaren as they made progress finishing their first season with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris as best...
Norris and Sainz realised “the best thing is to work together” for McLaren
Lando Norris says that he and McLaren teammate Carlos Sainz realised that to benefit themselves and the team in the long run “the best...
Sainz frustrated with lack of midfield TV coverage: "No one sees the conclusion"
For the majority of races, the battle at the front of the grid is determined long before the chequered flag is waved. Yet more often than not...
McLaren “not going to sacrifice” 2020 season in preparation for 2021
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has that they are “not going to sacrifice” their 2020 Formula 1 season ahead of the sporting,...
Zak Brown on Norris and Sainz: "They’ve driven like future world champions"
McLaren were one of the most improved teams in 2019. They finished the season 'best of the rest' and Zak Brown believes that brining in two "future...
Norris worried his personality could come back to haunt him in the future
Lando Norris enjoyed a successful first season in Formula One, often being faster than his teammate Carlos Sainz. However, he feels that his...
Lando Norris describes Carlos Sainz as his "mentor"
Lando Norris has said that his teammate Carlos Sainz has been helpful to him in his first season in the sport as the team secured a fourth-place...
Sainz pleased with contract certainty at McLaren
Carlos Sainz's career has begun with short stints at Toro Rosso and Renault before moving to McLaren for the 2019 season and the Spaniard is...
Carlos Sainz’s McLaren contract stability allowed chance to show “new Carlos”
Carlos Sainz has said that having “contract stability” with McLaren has given him the chance to show off a “new Carlos”...
Carlos Sainz explains origin of “Smooth Operator” joke
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz has explained the origin of his “Smooth Operator” messages and how it became a running joke between...
Sainz looks ahead to F1 2021: Rules changes provide McLaren with an opportunity
McLaren stormed back up the F1 constructors' world championship during the 2019 season and beat Renault comfortably in the race for 'best of...
McLaren praise Carlos Sainz's consistency following brilliant 2019!
McLaren boss Andreas Seidl has praised his driver Carlos Sainz for his exceptional consistency in the 2019 season. The Spaniard scored points...
Carlos Sainz: "Next year we're not going to fight for a world championship"
Carlos Sainz doubts that he will be able to compete for a World Championship in 2020 but thinks that he and McLaren will continue to develop...
Sainz always remained confident in his potential
Carlos Sainz produced a strong showing in 2019, finishing sixth in the final drivers' standings, one point ahead of Pierre Gasly. And following...
McLaren upgrading pit equipment for 2020 despite 2021 standardised parts
McLaren team principal Andrea Seidl has said that they will be upgrading their pit equipment for 2020, despite 2021 introducing standardised...
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