2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion Carlos Sainz Jr has been confirmed as the second Scuderia Toro Rosso driver for the 2015 Formula 1 season, joining Max Verstappen.
The twenty-year-old, son of World Rally Championship legend Carlos Sainz, tested for the teams’ sister team Red Bull Racing in Abu Dhabi this week, and has finally been announced by Toro Rosso to be their second driver for next season.
Sainz Jr has admitted his delight at being confirmed in the team, and is looking to making his return to the team for the first test of 2015 at Jerez, the circuit he clinched his Formula Renault 3.5 Series crown in October, before making his race debut in Australia next March.
“I am really happy to have landed the drive with Scuderia Toro Rosso,” enthused Sainz Jr. “Ever since I have been part of Red Bull’s Young Driver Programme, this has been my aim and I want to thank Red Bull for putting their faith in me.
“I have had a very successful season in World Series by Renault this year and now I am looking forward to taking the step up to Formula 1. I tested for a day with Toro Rosso last year and I liked the atmosphere in the team.
“In the next few months I will be working hard on my preparation, ready to get in the cockpit in Jerez for the first test of next year. It will be nice to make my “official” debut as a Formula 1 driver in my home country!”
Team Principal Franz Tost welcomed Sainz to the team, and was enthusiastic about the young Spaniards driving ability and maturity when he tested with the team back in the 2013 Young Drivers Test, and cannot wait to get working with both him and Verstappen next season.
“With Carlos Sainz joining Max Verstappen in our driver line-up next year, we continue the Toro Rosso tradition of providing youngsters from the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme with their first steps in Formula 1,” insisted Tost. “I have watched Carlos progress through the junior categories, always improving as he moved higher up the ladder, culminating in a well-deserved win in this year’s World Series.
“However, I also remember the day’s testing he did with us at Silverstone in 2013 in the STR8. He really surprised me and his engineers that day, with his mature approach and his speed.”