Scuderia Toro Rosso have announced today that Formula Renault 3.5 champion Carlos Sainz Jr will race for them in next year’s 2015 Formula One World Championship. He will be in the second seat alongside teenager Max Verstappen, who was announced earlier this year.
Sainz Jr, son of former World Rally Champion Carlos Sr, tested for senior team Red Bull earlier this week at the Abu Dhabi post-season test and will replace Jean-Eric Vergne who had driven for the team since 2012. The Frenchman announced on Twitter a few days ago that he would not be retaining his seat.
Carlos won a record setting 7 races in this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 season on his way to taking the championship. He also took 7 pole positions and 6 fastest laps in the 17 round championship. He was up against fellow Red Bull junior driver Alex Lynn, who won this year’s GP3 championship.
“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,” said Sainz, “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. 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.”
Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost added: “With Carlos joining Max in our driver line-up next year, we continue the tradition of providing youngsters from the Red Bull programme with their first steps in Formula 1. 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.”