Carlos Sainz Jr

Full Name: 
Carlos Sainz Vázquez de Castro
Birth Date: 
31 August, 1994
Birth Place: 
Madrid, Spain
Driver Status: 

Carlos Sainz Jr Biography

After graduating from karting, Sainz Jr debuted in single-seater racing in Formula BMW European series, finishing fourth in the drivers’ standings.

The son of two-time World Rally Champion, Carlos Sainz Snr, quickly progressed through the ranks by winning the 2011 Formula Renault 2.0 NEC and was runner-up in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championships in the
same season.

2012 saw Sainz Jr switch to Carlin and compete in the British and Euro Formula series and his performances caught the eye of Arden Motorsport who signed the Spaniard for the 2013 GP3 series. Sainz enjoyed one season in GP3 alongside his Euro F3 commitments.

2014 marked his third season in Euro F3 and Sainz was crowned champion with seven race wins to his name. Sainz landed a test session with both Red Bull and Toro Rosso at Silverstone and the driver was confirmed for the 2015 season with Toro Rosso alongside 17-year-old Max Verstappen in an all-new driver line up.

Back-to-back points finishes in Australia and Malaysia signalled Sainz’s early promise, with the Spaniard recording a total of seven points finishes across the season. Despite being unable to match younger teammate Verstappen’s points tally, Sainz nonetheless impressed.

With a more competitive car under his belt, Sainz continued to shine in 2016, recording 10 points finishes en route to sealing 12th place in the drivers’ standings, with over double the amount of points he achieved in his rookie campaign. 

2017 would turn out to be something of a breakthrough year for the Spaniard, who not only secured a career best result of fourth place in tricky conditions in Singapore, but also achieved his first top 10 finish in the drivers’ standings, before receiving a late-season promotion to Renault as Jolyon Palmer’s replacement to boot. 

Sainz continued with Renault through 2018 and regularly matched teammate Nico Hulkenberg for pace, helping the team in its rise to P4 in the constructors' championship as the leading midfield outfit. The driver market merry-go-round saw Sainz move on to his third team in as many years, signing a deal to replace compatriot Fernando Alonso at McLaren for 2019. It also marked Sainz's departure from the Red Bull programme, having missed out on a seat with its senior team following Daniel Ricciardo's departure.

The switch to McLaren gave Sainz proper stability for the first time in his F1 career by virtue of a multi-year deal - and he wasted little time in making the most of the opportunity. Sainz put in a string of superb displays for McLaren, leading the midfield time and time again. His performances resulted in him earning the nickname 'Smooth Operator', but the standout moment came at the Brazilian Grand Prix when Sainz recovered from an issue in qualifying that left him last on the grid to score his first F1 podium - and McLaren's first for nearly six years. The result secured McLaren P4 in the constructors' championship, marking a stark turnaround in its fortunes from previous years, with Sainz the catalyst for much of its success.

2020 was the year Sainz underlined his abilities as he spearheaded McLaren's charge to third place in the constructors' championship with a series of brilliant drives, capped off with a second podium of his career when he was agonisingly pipped to a first win by Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Throughout 2020, Sainz demonstrated exactly why Ferrari opted to sign him to replace Sebastian Vettel for 2021 - with his electric pace and super consistency being key to the Woking squad's success.