Carlos SainzScuderia Ferrari
Carlos Sainz scored his debut F1 victory in 2022, but was unable to match Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc over the course of the season. The Spaniard will enter into his fourth year with the Scuderia in 2024.
F1 season 2024
|Carlos Sainz Vazquez de Castro
|Date of Birth
|1 September, 1994
|Place of Birth
Biography of F1 driver Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz Jr was destined for Formula 1 from an early age, inheriting a racing mentality from his father, two-time World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz Sr, and later securing a junior partnership with Red Bull.
Sainz's journey to his current position alongside Charles Leclerc at Ferrari has been extensive, beginning with his involvement in the karting circuit and progressing through the Red Bull junior program.
Now 28, he boasts eight seasons of Formula 1 experience and aspires to contend for championships with the Scuderia in the upcoming years.
Curious about how Carlos Sainz made his way into F1? Discover all the details in the biography of Carlos Sainz.
Teammates and teams | Carlos Sainz
|Scuderia Toro Rosso
|Scuderia Toro Rosso
|Max Verstappen/Daniil Kvyat
|Scuderia Toro Rosso/ Renault Sport F1 Team
|Daniil Kvyat/ Nico Hülkenberg
|Renault Sport F1 Team
|McLaren F1 Team
|McLaren F1 Team
Sainz's early career
Sainz kicked off his motorsport career in karting, competing across his native Spain and winning multiple trophies including the Asia-Pacific KF3 title and the Junior Monaco Kart Cup.
In 2010, he moved up to open-wheel cars to race with the Eurointernational team in Formula BMW Europe, and that year also signed a deal which brought him into the Red Bull setup.
During that season, he secured two wins and three pole positions across nine events, including a victory on his debut weekend, which caught the attention of Red Bull development head Helmut Marko.
Sainz continued to race in the series the following year, as well as the UK Formula Renault Winter Cup, before getting a call up to race for Carlin in the British and Euro Series Formula 3 championships for 2012.
That year with Carlin, he scored four race wins and finished on the podium nine times, placing sixth overall in the British championship and ninth in the Euro series.
For 2013, Sainz joined Arden, the team co-owned by Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, to help him develop as a member of the junior programme.
Driving alongside future Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat, Sainz had an up and down season, struggling to consistently score points despite a podium in Valencia after starting from fourth.
Sainz went on to race in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series; in 2013 he lost out on multiple weekends due to retirements, and for 2014 switched teams to DAMS, where he managed to put together a title challenge.
Sainz won the second race of the 2014 season at Monza and quickly followed it up with victories at Aragon and Spa-Francorchamps (doing the double in Belgium). Another win at the Nurburgring and a double at Paul Ricard helped him towards the championship crown over Pierre Gasly.
Carlos Sainz at Toro Rosso
During the 2013 season, Sainz had tested for both Red Bull and Toro Rosso as part of the Young Drivers' Test at Silverstone, and by 2015 his performances had earned him a call-up to race for Toro Rosso in F1.
Driving alongside Max Verstappen following Kvyat's promotion to Red Bull, Sainz made a solid impression on his race debut in Australia, finishing ninth.
However, at that year's Russian Grand Prix, during the third practice session, he lost control of the car at Turn 13 and slammed into the wall, causing him to spend the night in hospital.
Despite the crash, Sainz competed in the race, though did not finish. He went on to score his last points of the year with seventh at the United States Grand Prix, finishing his maiden season 15th in the Drivers' Championship.
Sainz was retained by Toro Rosso for the 2016 season and, while he managed to score points more consistently, he still suffered a dry streak in the middle of the year, and finished 12th overall in the standings with a total of 46 points.
The following year, Sainz was comfortably within the top 10 for much of the season, including seventh in Australia and Spain, sixth in Monaco and fourth in Singapore. However, he also suffered further retirements in Canada, after a crash with Romain Grosjean, and in Japan after another incident.
Having failed to land a promotion to the main Red Bull team, he signed a deal to join Renault in the closing stages of the 2017 season.
Leaving the Red Bull fold
Departing from the Red Bull family, Sainz made the transition to Renault for the final four rounds of the 2017 season, joining forces with Nico Hulkenberg as the replacement for Jolyon Palmer. This move marked his first inclusion in the top 10 of the standings throughout his F1 career.
Despite this achievement, there were notable incidents, such as his retirement from the Mexican Grand Prix due to steering issues following a high-speed spin. Following this event, he failed to secure points for the remaining races of the year.
In 2018, Sainz initiated the season strongly, earning points in five of the first six races. However, he still trailed behind his teammate Hulkenberg, concluding the season in 10th place overall with a total of 53 points.
Making the switch to McLaren
Driving alongside Lando Norris, Sainz had a tough start to life with his new team as he finished out of the points due to reliability issues in Australia, and was involved in crashes in China and Bahrain.
However, after the rough beginnings, Sainz got to grips with his new car and started to consistently score points, with the McLaren proving capable of competing at the top of the midfield.
The hard work was rewarded with a first Formula 1 podium at the Brazilian Grand Prix, after he was promoted to third place following Lewis Hamilton's penalty for a crash with Alex Albon. Overall he finished sixth in the Drivers' Championship.
In the COVID-19-disrupted 2020 season, Sainz remained at Woking and kicked off the campaign with two fifth-place finishes during the opening double-header at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, setting a new track record in the process.
He was forced out of the British Grand Prix due to a tyre puncture and registered a did not start (DNS) at the race in Belgium due to a power unit issue, but Sainz would go on to score his best career finish of second during a hectic Italian Grand Prix.
Sainz had qualified in third and drove a strong race – in which several Safety Cars were brought out – to secure his spot on the podium, losing out by only a few seconds to the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly.
The Spaniard finished the 2020 season in sixth place for the second consecutive year, with a career-high 105 points and six top-five finishes.
On the move again: Ferrari
During the 2020 season, Ferrari announced that they would not be renewing Sebastian Vettel's contract for 2021 and so the hunt was on for a replacement.
They landed on Sainz, who left McLaren for a two-year deal with the Scuderia to partner Charles Leclerc from the 2021 campaign.
Sainz qualified in eigth on his debut for the team at the Bahrain Grand Prix, and scored his first points as a Ferrari driver by finishing the race in the same position.
A couple of further points finishes came before Sainz clinched the third podium of his F1 career in Monaco after crossing the line in second.
Other than a pointless weekend in France – which proved to be a challenging event for Ferrari due to tyre degradation – Sainz then scored points at every other race in the season.
This strong run included three more podiums, at Hungary, Russia and Abu Dhabi, though the P3 result at the Hungaroring only came after the race, when Sainz was promoted due to Sebastian Vettel being disqualified.
Ferrari seemed to make progress throughout the 2021 campaign, and looked to have gotten ahead of rivals McLaren as the season headed towards its close. In the end, the team were able to beat their competitors to secure third place in the Constructors' Championship.
Sainz also had an impressive finish to the year. The Spaniard secured fifth in the World Championship standings, outscoring teammate Leclerc in seventh.
First F1 win for Sainz
With a wave of new technical regulations coming into effect for the 2022 F1 season, there was a degree of uncertainty about how the pecking order could look.
Ferrari looked to have the edge when the campaign got underway, with Sainz following Leclerc home for a 1-2 finish at the opening race in Bahrain.
However, there were difficult weekends to follow for Sainz at the Australian and Emilia Romagna Grands Prix, where a spin on Lap 3 and an early collision with Daniel Ricciardo led to respective retirements at each event.
Sainz bounced back to record several points finishes before a dream weekend for the Spaniard at Silverstone saw him claim both pole position and his debut F1 victory.
It proved to be Sainz's only win of the year as Ferrari's championship challenge fell away due to strategy problems, driver errors and reliability woes.
Sainz ultimately finished the season P5 in the World Championship standings.
Third year with Ferrari in 2023
Sainz will enter into his third season as a Ferrari driver in 2023, having signed a contract extension that will keep him at the Scuderia until the end of 2024.
The one-time race winner has outlined areas where he believes there is room for improvement for the team going forwards after a "tricky" first half of the 2022 campaign.
In the off-season before 2023, Sainz showed his support as his father, Carlos Sainz Snr, competed in the Dakar Rally, though Sainz Jnr ran into trouble with the stewards at the event.
The 2023 and 2024 season
The Spaniard experienced three DNFs and one DNS in the 2023 season. However, race by race, he collected more and more points for the team. He won the Singapore Grand Prix and reached three podiums. Unfortunately, Ferrari came three points short in the battle for the second place in the constructors' championship to Mercedes. In the last race of the season, the Spaniard unfortunately had a DNF late in the race, which came at a cost to Ferrari for the constructors' championship.
Will Scuderia Ferrari have better results in the 2024 season, and will Carlos Sainz be able to compete for the world championship title?
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