McLaren has confirmed the signing of Renault's Carlos Sainz Jr. for the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Sainz, 23, is the first driver confirmed at McLaren for next year following Fernando Alonso's decision to quit F1 for 2019 and has signed a multi-year deal.

“I’m delighted to finally be able to confirm that I’ll be a McLaren driver from the 2019 season,” Sainz said. “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.



“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.”

The Spaniard will join McLaren after spending just one full season with Renault, who confirmed earlier this month that Daniel Ricciardo would be partnering Nico Hulkenberg next season.

Sainz had been linked with a move to his parent team, Red Bull, in place of Ricciardo, but will instead depart the energy drink giant's motorsport programme.

With Sainz moving to McLaren, the way has been paved for Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly to join Red Bull as Ricciardo's replacement for 2019.

McLaren is yet to confirm who will partner Sainz for 2019, but is known to be strongly considering current Formula 2 racer Lando Norris for a race seat in place of Stoffel Vandoorne.

Sainz made his F1 debut in 2015 with Toro Rosso before leaving the team last autumn, joining Renault for the final four races of the 2017 season.

Sainz has scored points in all but four races so far this season, recording a best finish of P5 at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku.


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