Carlos Sainz, whose father was a world rally champion, was named as Toro Rosso’s second driver for the 2015 Formula One world championship alongside Dutch teenager Max Verstappen.
Sainz, 20, replaces Russia’s Daniil Kvyat, who has stepped up to Red Bull to take over from four-time champion Sebastian Vettel. Verstappen, 17, whose father Jos was also a Formula One driver, had already been named as a replacement for Jean-Eric Vergne.
“I am really happy to have landed the drive with Scuderia Toro Rosso. Ever since I have been part of Red Bull’s Young Driver Programme, this has been my aim and I want to thank Red Bull for putting their faith in me,” said Sainz.
“I have had a very successful season in World Series by Renault this year and now I am looking forward to taking the step up to Formula 1. I tested for a day with Toro Rosso last year and I liked the atmosphere in the team. “In the next few months I will be working hard on my preparation, ready to get in the cockpit in Jerez for the first test of next year. It will be nice to make my “official” debut as a Formula 1 driver in my home country!”
The 20-year-old Spaniard has racing in the blood — his father, also Carlos, was world rally champion in 1990 and 1992 and also claimed the 2010 Dakar Rally title. Sainz junior won the Asia-Pacific karting title in 2008 and two years later he made his single-seater debut in Formula BMW, before moving up the ranks through Formula Renault 2.0, British Formula 3, then GP3 in 2013. This year Sainz became the youngest ever winner of the World Series by Renault 3.5 Championship and tested for Red Bull in Abu Dhabi this week.
“With Carlos Sainz joining Max Verstappen in our driver line-up next year, we continue the Toro Rosso tradition of providing youngsters from the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme with their first steps in Formula 1,” said Toro Rosso team chief Franz Tost. “I have watched Carlos progress through the junior categories, always improving as he moved higher up the ladder, culminating in a well-deserved win in this year’s World Series.”