McLaren F1 Team have confirmed that Carlos Sainz Jr. will join the team for the 2019 Formula 1 Season.
Sainz has signed a multi-year deal to join the Woking based team as he replaces fellow Spaniard and idol Fernando Alonso, who confirmed this week that he will not race in F1 for 2019.
The twenty-three year old from Madrid currently races at Renault Sport Formula One Team on loan from Red Bull, but will leave the team as Daniel Ricciardo will join for 2019. Sainz was one of the drivers to be considered to replace the Australian at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.
With Sainz moving to McLaren, it’s very likely now the seat at Red Bull will go to Pierre Gasly from Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda.
Sainz says he is excited to start a new chapter in his career with McLaren next year, admitting he’s been a fan of the team since he was a child.
“I’m delighted to finally be able to confirm that I’ll be a McLaren driver from the 2019 season. It’s something I’ve been looking at for a while and I’m very excited about this next chapter in my career.” said Sainz.
“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.”
With Sainz replacing his hero Alonso at the team next year, the Madrid born Spaniard says that the move is made special that he will be part of the next generation of Spanish drivers to drive a McLaren F1 car.
“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.” Sainz added.
“Finally, I’d like to thank everyone at McLaren for giving me this opportunity to fulfil a childhood dream. The team has a long-term plan for the future and I’m very much looking forward to playing a key role in its journey back to success.”
It is unclear as of yet on who will partner alongside Sainz at McLaren for the 2019 season, with the likes of Stoffel Vandoorne and Lando Norris favourite to take the role.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown commented on the announcement and says he’s incredibly excited for Sainz to join the team and rates him highly among the next generation of drivers to join F1.
“We’re incredibly excited to have Carlos join us as a McLaren driver. We’ve been assessing him for some time now and rate him very highly among the next generation of young talent emerging through the ranks in Formula 1.” said Brown.
“Carlos brings with him the perfect blend of youth and experience. Although he’s just 23, he’ll be starting his fifth season in the sport with us and will bring with him a huge amount of racing experience, both in Formula 1 and with our partner Renault.
“It’s no secret that Carlos is a huge admirer of Fernando’s, and it’s fitting that he will be stepping into his seat as a Spaniard with a legendary name in motorsport. We think he’ll be a great fit for McLaren and we’re really excited to have him join us from next season and beyond.”