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Driver Profile – Carlos Sainz Jr

As one of the ‘new generation’ drivers, Carlos Sainz Jr a long-term backed Red Bull driver, one which you can source right from the beginning of his car racing career, and continues into Formula One.

The son of multi-championship winning rally driver Carlos Sainz Jr, he held the belief from an early age that he wanted to be a Formula One driver holding Fernando Alonso as his hero.

His racing career started in Formula BMW in 2010 with the backing of the Red Bull Junior Programme, which including a guest drive in the Formula BMW Pacific series. In the same team as his now current teammate Daniil Kvyat he had a mixed set of results, losing out to eventual winner Robin Frijns, but beating Kvyat.

After a guest outing in 2010, he moved to Formula Renault 2.0, again partnered with Daniil Kvyat, racing against the likes of Stoffel Vandoorne, Robin Frijns, Will Stevens and Alex Lynn. With two wins through the season, the same as Kvyat, Sainz Jr finished second behind Frijns once again. There were also a couple of guest drives in F3, and finished 17th at the illustrious Macau.

He made the move to Formula 3 full time in 2012, dovetailing a campaign in both the British and European championships. He drove for Carlin with Felipe Nase and other interesting motorsport names including Daniel Junacadella, Pascal Wehrlein, and Alex Lynn. It was a best of 6th in the British series, and once again went to Macau and finished 7th.

Another year and another series for Sainz Jr, this time a full campaign at the Formula One feeder series, GP3. The series was won by Daniil Kvyat, with Sainz Jr only 10th after two disqualifications. There were also a couple of outing in the Formula Renault 3.5 series, racing against the likes of Kevin Magnussen who won the series that year, Stoffel Vandoorne and fellow Red Bull backed driver Antonio Felix de Costa.

He made the move to Formula 3.5 full time in 2014 and won the series with seven wins, from Pierre Gasly (now GP2 champion) and Roberto Merhi. Having also done some testing for both Red Bull and Toro Rosso through the season, with was announced he would be a Toro Rosso driver for 2015, after his former teammate Daniil Kvyat would be promoted following the departure of Sebastian Vettel.

The combination of himself and Verstappen at Toro Rosso was a good one, with the Spaniard in the points on a regular basis, claiming 18 by the end of the year. It would see him have another season with the Toro Rosso team, initially alongside Verstappen.

With a year old Ferrari engine to start the season in 2016, Sainz got points on the board early, but was overlooked in favour of Verstappen to get the Red Bull call up, with him being replaced by Kvyat at Toro Rosso. That gave Sainz Jr through the season to gain momentum, with a more impressive campaign than in 2015, scoring 46 points and three career best places of sixth in Spain, Austin and Brazil.

Now one of the stars of the sport, and now locked into Red Bull he is staying at Toro Rosso for a third season despite interest from both Renault and Mercedes.

About the author

Ashley Quint

Ashley founded the Purple Sector website back in 2012, later renamed to SpeedMajor which now covers both Formula 1 and Formula E. As well as writing on Formula 1, Ashley also works within the world of luxury travel and was a finalist in the Aspire Travel Trade Writer of the Year competition in 2013.

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