Renault Sport Formula One Team driver Carlos Sainz Jr. got his first taste of the FIA World Rally Championship this weekend as he took on the final stage of the 2018 Rallye Monte-Carlo in a New Renault Mégane R.S.
The 23-year-old was on hand to drive the #0 course car through the stage ahead of the competitors and get a feel for what it must have been like for his father, Carlos Sainz Sr., who won the rally three times, to race on the legendary roads.
The stage the Spaniard drove was the 13.58km SS17 La Cabanette-Col de Braus stage that runs through the Alpes-Maritimes surrounding the Principality of Monaco.
“That was very special.” said Sainz Jr. “I have dreamt about doing this a lot of times in my life and now thanks to Renault it has come true. I have always wanted to do a rally with a co-driver, pace notes and a good pace and I loved it.
“The car was really good. It had different modes of driving that I was testing to get fully comfortable. You had the race mode, sport mode and a bit of traction control that you could adjust.”
“The steering was very accurate and suspension was stiff for the twisty sections so I was really enjoying it a lot.
“It was a fantastic experience – quite slippery in places to give the full Monte Carlo experience! My dad just told me to take it carefully, but I had a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone for the opportunity.”
Proud father Sainz Sr. added, “I’m very happy that Carlos has experienced a taste of such a legendary rally. Monte Carlo was, and still is, a very special race for all motorsport fans. Carlos has driven rally cars before, but experiencing the roads of this particular event is different. I gave him a couple of tips, but the most important one was ’enjoy’ “.
Speaking ahead of the event last week Sainz Jr. revealed that he would be interested in competing in rallying in the future, but for the time being was too early in his career, “It’s too early in my career to go for a rally, but in the future I will do something for a hobby,” Sainz Jr. told Autosport.
“I have done a lot of practice with my dad, we have a rally car at home in the countryside so we do a lot of dirt stages with the car and I keep learning quite a lot.”