Carlos Sainz Jr.


Carlos Sainz Vázquez de Castro, also known as Carlos Sainz Jr. is a Spanish Formula One racing driver, born on 1 September 1994. His father, Carlos Sainz, is a two time World Rally Champion. Carlos Sainz is also the nephew of the rally driver Antonio Sainz. Carlos Sainz, as Carlos Sainz Jr. is otherwise known, will race for Scuderia Ferrari from 2021.

Sainz has raced in the European and British Formula 3 championships for Carlin in 2012. He then raced for DAMS, winning the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Championship before moving on to Toro Rosso Racing in Formula One in 2015. Mid-2017 season, Sainz started racing for Renault and is now driving for McLaren since 2019. Sainz has signed a two-year contract with Ferrari and will be replacing Sebastian Vettel in the team.

F1Chronicle - Carlos Sainz
2019 F1 Bahrain GP Qualifying- Carlos Sainz, (Courtesy- McLaren Renault)

Carlos Sainz Jr’s Career Before Formula 1

Karting (2008-2009)

Carlos Sainz Jr. was born in Madrid and won the Asia Pacific KF3 championship in 2008. He also finished runner-up in the Spanish Championship the same year. In 2009, Sainz went on to win the prestigious Junior Monaco Karting Cup and ended the European KF3 Championship in the second place.

Formula BMW (2010)

In 2010, Sainz raced with the Eurointernational Team in Formula BMW Europe. He was also a member of the Red Bull Junior Team programme. In Formula BMW, he was invited for a guest drive in the Formula BMW Pacific Series and he made his racing debut at Sepang. As Sainz was invited as a guest driver, he was not allotted any points in the series.

Despite being ineligible to score points, Sainz impressed in Malaysia. On his debut at Sepang, he finished second in the 1st and 4th in the 2nd race. On the following day, Sainz was forced to retire but he came back strongly to win the second race. Helmut Marko, the Red Bull Team principal was impressed with Sainz’s showing on his debut and awarded him with a place at the Red Bull Junior Team.

At the following race, Sainz finished 7th, but he won the next race. He came back to the series in Singapore after missing the races in China. In Singapore, Sainz finished 6th in the first race but 2nd in the next. He again missed the Japanese races but came back to Macau for the season finale and won the races there. In the 9 races that he contested in, Sainz finished with 2 wins, 3 pole positions and 2 fastest laps.

Contesting in the Formula BMW Europe, Sainz got off to a good start earning a podium position in third place at Circuit de Catalunya. He took 5th and 2nd places in Zandvoort and 7th and 10th places in Valencia. Sainz got his first victory of the season in the second race at Silverstone following a 3rd place finish in the first.

Sainz looked on course to his first championship when he took 11th and sixth places in Hockenheim and the followed with 4th and third positions at Hungaroring. But Robin Frijns, who won podium positions in all but three races, beat him to it.

A double retirement at Spa Francorchamps put paid to Sainz’s hopes. Eighth and 6th place finishes at Monza saw Sainz finishing the season in fourth place with 227 points. Competing in the UK Formula Renault Winter Cup, Sainz finished 6th in the first race and retired in the second.

Formula 3 (2012)

Sainz competed in the British as well as in the Euro Series Formula 3 Championships during the 2012 season. He was racing for Carlin this time and earned 9 podium positions, and two pole positions finishing 6th overall in the British championship. In the Euro Series, Sainz secured two pole positions and two podiums and finished in ninth position in the championship.

GP3 (2013)

Sainz joined Arden in 2013 to race in the GP3 series. He qualified in 5th place in Spain but was penalised 10 places for ignoring the yellow flags during the practice sessions. Despite the setback, he made it to the 8th position during the race. But Sainz had mismanaged his Pirelli tyres. He ended up fifteenth on bald tyres, not having gained or lost a place.

In the second race, Sainz managed to work his way to the 9th place from the 15th that he started in before the safety car was deployed. Sainz finished the race in 7th position but was disqualified when it was found out (post-race) that his car was underweight. Sainz and his partner, Daniil Kvyat, finished the races without scoring any points.

Sainz qualified 8th in Valencia and finished the race in 4th place. He started 4th in the second race and gained the 3rd place in the first lap. He held his position till the finish line winning the first GP3 podium position of his career. By the end of the second racing weekend, Sainz was in the sixth championship position and fancying his chances of winning a GP3 championship.

In the first race at Silverstone, Sainz made contact with Lewis Williamson when the former was eight in the race. The damage sustained by his car slowed Sainz down and he finished the race in the 13th place. He started in the 13th place in the second race and finished in the same position.

Formula Renault 3.5

Sainz competed in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship in 2013. But as he was focussed much more on the GP3 series, he missed several races in the season. In Monaco, Sainz managed 6th place and retired in both races at Spa Francorchamps. He also missed out on the Russian and the Austrian races.

Sainz returned to race in Hungary and finished 7th in the first race. But he had problems with his car and finished 22nd in Race 2. At Circuit de Paul Ricard, Sainz had a double retirement. When he arrived at Catalunya, he had only one podium finish to his name. Sainz retired in Race 1, and finished 6th in Race 2.

Having switched to DAMs for the 2014 season, Sainz won the second race at Monza after having finished 18th in the first. He scored a win at Aragon and finished 4th in the second race. With a 4th place finish in the one-off race in Monza and another two wins at Spa Francorchamps, Sainz’s position in the championship was looking good.

In Moscow, Sainz finished 14th and 6th in the two races. He won the first race in Germany but had to retire in the second. On a wet track in Hungary, Roberto Mehri, his challenger for the championship led the field by half a minute but Sainz secured the 6th place in race two. In France, he won both the races, increasing his tally in the championship by 50 points. Carlos Sainz had won his first Formula Championship scoring 227 points.

Carlos Sainz Jr.’s Career In Formula 1

Toro Rosso and Red Bull had announced Carlos Sainz Jr. as a test driver in Formula One as a part of the Young Drivers’ Test at Silverstone in 2013.

Toro Rosso (2015-2017)

In 2015, Sainz was recruited by Scuderia Toro Rosso to drive alongside Max Verstappen in the 2015 season. He replaced Daniil Kvyat who was promoted to Red Bull Racing that season. Selecting 55 as his racing number, Sainz debuted at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. He finished the race in ninth position.

He lost control of his car during the practice session in Russia and crashed into the Tecpro barriers. He was admitted to a hospital, was released to race the next day, but couldn’t finish the race. He scored his last points of the season in the United States by finishing 7th. Sainz finished his first Formula One season with Toro ross ranked 15th in the championship.

Sainz started the 2016 season by finishing 9th in the Australian Grand Prix and retired at the Bahrain Grand Prix. He again finished 9th in China and scored no points in Russia. A string of points followed when he finished 6th in Spain, 8th in Monaco and 9th in Canada. Sainz could not finish the race at the European Grand Prix.

Sainz finished 8th in three successive races in Austria, Britain and Hungary before the summer break. He scored no points after the break till the United States Grand Prix where he finished 6th. Sainz earned no points in Mexico but finished the Brazilian Grand Prix in the sixth place. With no points in Abu Dhabi Sainz finished the 2016 season 12th in the drivers’ standings.

Sainz started the 2017 season with a 7th place finish in Australia before he went with dry tyres on a wet Chinese track to finish 8th. In Bahrain, he crashed with Lance Stroll and earned a 3 place grid penalty in the ensuing race in Russia. He, however, finished 10th at Sochi and went on to secure the 7th place in Spain and his career-best 6th place in Monaco.

Sainz was involved in a crash with Romain Grosjean in Canada and could not finish the race. He could not finish in Austria and Britain, the latter because of a crash with his teammate, but went on to rank 6th in Baku and 7th in Hungary. Sainz did well to finish 10th at Spa Francorchamps but could not garner any points in Monza.

In Singapore, Sainz got the best finish of his Formula One career yet when he crossed the finish line fourth. He was forced to retire in the Malaysian Grand  Prix due to engine problems. He retired in the Japanese Grand Prix due to a crash. Carlos Sainz finished the 2017 Formula One season in the 9th place in the driver rankings.

Sainz started the 2018 season well by scoring points in five of the first six races. But he was trailing his partner Nicolas Hülkenberg in four of those races. By the end of the race in Azerbaijan, Sainz was in the fifth position in the drivers’ rankings. He, however, finished the season in the 10th place, 3 places behind Hülkenberg.

McLaren (2019-2020)

As Fernando Alonso had retired at the end of the 2018 season, McLaren signed Carlos Sainz Jr. in 2019 to replace him. Sainz had a disappointing start to the season with the new team. Reliability problems cost him dearly in the Australian Grand Prix. That was followed by collisions in the Bahrain and Chinese Grands Prix.

Sainz got among the points after that finishing strongly and in a position to contest for the sixth place in the drivers’ rankings. In the Brazilian Grand Prix, Sainz started last on the grid as he had engine problems during qualifying. He had finished fourth. But Lewis Hamilton received a penalty for causing a collision and Sainz was elevated to third place, his first career Formula One podium position.

In the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Sainz overtook Hülkenberg in the last lap to finish the race in the 10th place. Those additional points ensured that Sainz finished the 2019 season in the 6th place in the drivers’ rankings.

In a season that was postponed and rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sainz started the 2020 season by finishing fifth in the Austrian Grand Prix. In the Styrian Grand Prix, Sainz qualified third achieving his best qualifying result in Formula One. He finished the race in 9th place but not before recording the fastest lap, a first for him in Formula One and a Red Bull Ring track record.

Suffering a tyre picture on the penultimate lap at Silverstone, Sainz was also troubled by an overheating problem during qualifying at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. Sainz had to start in the second half on the grid and a wheel gun malfunctioning ensured that he finished 13th in the race. He also abandoned the Belgium race because of a power unit problem.

At the Italian Grand Prix, Sainz qualified third behind Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Botas. He finished second in the race, his best finish in a Formula One race yet and the second podium position of his career. Sainz finished sixth for the second consecutive time in the 2020 championship season accumulating 105 points and 6 top 5 finishes.

Ferrari (2021-)

Scuderia Ferrari has announced that Carlos Sainz Jr. has signed a two-year contract with them. Sainz will be partnering Charles Leclerc and replacing the four-time Formula One World Champion, Sebastian Vettel.