From a Spaniard hero to a young Spaniard Formula 1 promise: McLaren announced, minutes ago, that Carlos Sainz will race with the Woking team in 2019.
Carlos, "born" as a Red Bull driver, has spent three season with the junior team Toro Rosso, hoping for an upgrade to the senior team. He then switched, in 2017, to Renault, but the adventure there won't last more than a season.
After several speculations during the season and after Alonso's announcement he will be compete in Indy Car next year, it was finally time for Carlos to reveal his plans for the future.
“I’m delighted to finally be able to confirm that I’ll be a McLaren driver from the 2019 season. It’s something I’ve been looking at for a while and I’m very excited about this next chapter in my career.
“I’ve been a McLaren fan for as long as I can remember. It’s a great name in the sport with an incredible heritage, and the list of drivers that have raced for McLaren over the years are among the heroes of Formula 1."
It was a dream of many to see both Spaniard racing together in the same team, but that won't unfortunately happen: Carlos will replace no other than Fernando Alonso, his lifetime hero.
“Fernando is of course one of them, so it’s particularly special that I’ll be taking his seat as part of the next generation of Spanish racing drivers behind the wheel of a McLaren.
“Finally, I’d like to thank everyone at McLaren for giving me this opportunity to fulfil a childhood dream. The team has a long-term plan for the future and I’m very much looking forward to playing a key role in its journey back to success.”
Carlos is yet to score a podium in Formula 1, but has delivered several good performances in the circus, especially during his time in Toro Rosso.
“We’re incredibly excited to have Carlos join us as a McLaren driver. We’ve been assessing him for some time now and rate him very highly among the next generation of young talent emerging through the ranks in Formula 1." Said Zak Brown, Chief Executive Officer at McLaren Racing. “Carlos brings with him the perfect blend of youth and experience. Although he’s just 23, he’ll be starting his fifth season in the sport with us and will bring with him a huge amount of racing experience, both in Formula 1 and with our partner Renault.
“It’s no secret that Carlos is a huge admirer of Fernando’s, and it’s fitting that he will be stepping into his seat as a Spaniard with a legendary name in motorsport. We think he’ll be a great fit for McLaren and we’re really excited to have him join us from next season and beyond.”
It is still unclear who will partner Sainz during next season in McLaren; the team will coomunicate the full drivers line up later this season.