F1 »

F1 Driver of the Year 2015 - 7th: Carlos Sainz

Up against his headline-grabbing team-mate, your seventh place finisher in the F1 Rider of the Year poll grabbed his own spotlight in 2015
7th – Carlos Sainz
Average poll score out of ten: 6.2
Team: Scuderia Toro Rosso
Car: STR Renault STR10
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Best Finish 7th
Championship points: 18
Championship position: 15th out of 21

In many ways, Carlos Sainz came into his first season of F1 competition facing the bigger challenge in establishing himself than his high profile team-mate Max Verstappen, whose headline-grabbing youth and inexperience served to divert much of the attention away from him pre-season.

Granted, in terms of races raced, Sainz was a relative veteran to Verstappen, but at 20 years-old it was easy to forget he was also coming to the series as one of its youngest ever starters. Indeed, with Verstappen almost given the grace of error to (rapidly) develop his skills, Sainz was perhaps rather unfairly elevated into a more responsible assumed leading role despite having barely turned the wheel of an F1 car. Given Verstappen had taken in some FP1 sessions in 2014, ironically Sainz began with fewer F1 miles under his belt than his counterpart.

A glance at the end of season standings – 15th out of 21 drivers - would therefore indicate disappointment, but perhaps more than any other driver in 2015, Sainz's numbers don't tell the full story.

In terms of raw pace, Sainz and Verstappen enjoyed relative parity in terms of lap times and would more than once find themselves in battle with one another, with the only evidence of inter-team strife coming from confusions over team orders in Singapore.

Taking advantage of the tidily-packaged James Key-designed STR10 – which even Red Bull admitted was probably better than its chassis initially -, Sainz and Verstappen reeled off a number of impressive showings early on in the season before the inevitable development plateau, with the Spaniard keeping his nose clean to score in four of the opening six races. Of these, his charge from the back of the field in Monaco was a particular highlight.

However, the tide of momentum would ultimately turn mid-season as Verstappen's campaign snowballed just as Sainz's was interrupted by repeated technical dramas, four of which came consecutively between Austria and Belgium.

Unsettled, only three more top ten finishes would follow, with a best of seventh coming in the United States. leaving him with a rather meagre 18 points – less than half of Verstappen's tally.

Though the odd error didn't help his cause at times – namely his crashes in Russia and USA -, when viewed in the context of a rookie effort and reading between the lines, Sainz can take plenty of positives from his first season in the top flight whilst under a fair amount of pressure.

If Verstappen is being touted as F1's future, Sainz could very well join him..

Carlos Sainz in the Crash.net F1 Driver of the Year
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2014: N/A

Do you agree with the poll results? Have your say in the comments section below...

About the vote:
Rather than repeat the Drivers' World Championship standings, the F1 Driver of the Year poll asks viewers to take into account factors such as machinery, performance relative to a team-mate, driving style, experience, injuries, progress and personality just as much as race results.

Over 120,000 votes were cast for the 2015 Crash.net F1 Driver of the Year poll, where viewers awarded each of this year's full-time



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
14.11.2015 - Free Practice 3, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10
25.03.2017 - Qualifying, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.03.2017 - Qualifying, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
25.03.2017 - Qualifying, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
25.03.2017 - Qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.03.2017 - Qualifying, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
25.03.2017 - Qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.03.2017 - Qualifying, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.03.2017 - Free Practice 3, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, detail

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.