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  • Maxime Baillieux

Carlos Sainz

This article was written by Maxime Baillieux, Year 11

Carlos Sainz Driver Profile

Who is he and how good is he?

His Stats in F1

Wins: 2

Podium finishes: 18

Pole positions: 5

Career points: 981.5

Grand Prix entered: 185

World Championships: 0

Driver Number: 55

First Race: 2015 Australian Grand Prix

First Win: 2022 British Grand Prix


Carlos Sainz Jr, the son of Carlos Sainz Sr, double rally world champion, was born in Madrid, Spain in 1994 on September the first. He has a single sibling, a sister. He was quickly brought to the world of motor racing as his father was a rally racer himself.


In 2005, at the young age of 11, Carlos Sainz Jr started his karting journey in rental karting and small leagues. Sadly, no records of his early results are available. In 2006 Carlos Sainz won the Madrid Karting Championship and finished second in the Race of Champions and third in the Trofeo delle Industrie. The very next year Sainz brought it up a level by winning the International Trophy: Ciudad de Alcañiz and in 2008, he won the Asia-Pacific KF3 title, as well as finishing runner-up in the Spanish Championship. 

In 2009 he won the prestigious Junior Monaco Kart Cup, and was runner-up in the European KF3 Championship.

Formula BMW and F3

In 2010 Sainz graduated from karting to Formula BMW Europe racing for EuroInternational, a team owned by Enzo Ferrari’s grandnephew, as well as being in the Red Bull junior team. He made his Formula BMW debut during a guest drive in the Formula BMW Pacific series at Sepang, Malaysia, where he finished second but couldn’t get points as he was only a guest driver.

In Formula BMW Pacific, he would continue to race and win as a guest driver and he ultimately achieved 3 pole positions, 2 wins and 2 fastest laps in 9 races, with one of his wins coming in the finale of the season.

In Formula BMW Europe, he took home P6 and P2 in both races of the first venue at his home race in Barcelona Catalunya. He then took fifth and second place at Zandvoort and in Valencia, he took P7 and P10. He then went on to take a win and his hopes of winning the championship were high, but he retired in both races at Spa and finished the season in 4th place.

In 2012, Sainz competed in both British and Euro Series (FIA) Formula 3 championships, winning four races, nine podium positions  and a pole position in the British championship and the Euro Series championship.

In the British championship, he finished in sixth place and in the Euro Series he finished ninth.

Sainz in the Formula BMW at Sepang, Malaysia in 2010.

GP3 and Formula Renault 3.5

In 2013, Sainz signed with Arden to compete in the GP3 series. His first race weekend was not as expected, qualifying in 5th place and being penalised for ignoring yellow flags during free practice. 

Sainz managed to climb to 13th place in race one, but was 13 seconds behind the leader due to traffic. He eventually finished in 15th place, 51 seconds off first-placed Tio Ellinas. In race 2, Sainz gained 6 places and finished in 9th place. However, his car was found to be underweight, leading to his disqualification from the final results. This resulted in no points for Sainz and his teammate, Kvyat.

In the next race in Valencia, Sainz managed to qualify and finish in 8th place for race 1 and qualify and finish in 4th and 3rd place respectively, leading to his first ever GP3 points, 24 of them to be exact.

He went on to score 42 more points and 2 wins but sadly did not win the championship. He did however get promoted to Formula Renault 3.5 for good the next year. He had been racing from time to time in 2013.

Sainz’s GP3 car around Spa-Francorchamps.

Sainz’s Formula Renault start was a bit bumpy, with him finishing in P18 in race 1 but winning race 2, taking home 25 points. He won and took 4th place in races 1 and 2 respectively in Aragon and hence, creating a gap between him and the other championship contenders. He would go on to win 6 races in total and win the Championship in his first time of asking.

Carlos Sainz in his Formula Renault 3.5 around the Nurburgring.


Torro Rosso (2015-17)

The very next year Sainz was racing for Toro Rosso in Formula One with Max Verstappen as his teammate. He also decided to choose the Number ‘55’ to race. He started off strong with a p9 finish in Australia, he followed this with points in Malaysia and a fail in China due to a spin. He sadly took his first of many retirements in Bahrain due to a wheel issue. He however would not let this dampen his spirits and qualified fifth in Spain and finished ninth. He then overtook half the field in Monaco to finish in 10th place. Then came four back-to-back retirements due to electrical failures, fuel pressure issues and power unit issues. He would also experience his very first big crash in Russia (49g’s). He finished the season in 15th place, 31 points behind Max Verstappen.

Sainz in his 2015 F1 car.

In 2016 Sainz had a rather uneventful season apart from having his longest streak of no point weekends, six to be exact. Apart from that, Sainz had to deal with a slowish car and a teammate swap midseason with Danil Kvyat joining him and Verstappen joining Red Bull. Sainz also had a mighty drive in Canada, coming home in ninth after starting last. He also finished in career best place of sixth twice. This time he finished twelfth overall and took home 46 points.

Carlos Sainz in his 2016 F1 car.

In 2017 Sainz kept his teammate and also stated he was probably not going to stay at Torro Rosso in 2018. He went on to finish in 4th place in Singapore after announcing he would go to Renault for 2018.  He almost scored points in every race he finished apart from the Italian Grand Prix, but again reliability issues and driver errors arose and he retired from 6 races.

His Torro Rosso 2017 car.

Renault (2017-18)

However, in 2017 he was brought up to Renault early and competed in the last 4 races for them, finishing 7th in the first race, retiring, eleventh and retiring in Abu Dhabi. He finished the season in 9th place.

Renault 2017 car.

In 2018 however he would go on to score points in 13 races and only retire twice. A great achievement for him compared to his times in Torro Rosso. He would finish the season in 10th place with 53 points. The most memorable moment of his 2018 season was when he took advantage of the infamous crash between Ricciardo and Verstappen in the Red Bulls at Baku.

Renault 2018 car.

McLaren (2019-20)

In 2019, Carlos Sainz joined McLaren, ending his Red Bull association and replacing Fernando Alonso. Despite a challenging start with no points in the first three races, he consistently scored thereafter, achieving notable results like an eighth-place finish in Austria and fifth in Germany. The season had setbacks, including retirements in Belgium and Italy. Sainz showcased resilience in Brazil, starting last and finishing third, earning his first podium. He ended the season in sixth place in the drivers' championship, scoring 96 points, outperforming teammate Norris and competitors Gasly and Albon.

2019 Mclaren in Hungary.

In 2020, Carlos Sainz continued with McLaren alongside Norris, starting the season with a fifth-place finish in Austria and securing his best career qualifying result at the Styrian Grand Prix. Despite a slow pit stop, he set a new Red Bull Ring track record with his first fastest lap in Formula One. Throughout the season, Sainz faced challenges, including a tyre puncture at the British Grand Prix and a power unit issue at the Belgian Grand Prix that prevented him from starting. Notably, at the Italian Grand Prix, he secured his second podium, finishing second behind Gasly. Despite retiring from the next two races, Sainz had a strong finish to the season with seven consecutive points finishes. Ending the season sixth in the Drivers' Championship, he accumulated 105 points, surpassing teammate Norris with six top-five finishes, marking career highs.

2020 Mclaren at pre-season testing.

Ferrari (2021-Present)

In 2021, Carlos Sainz joined Scuderia Ferrari, replacing Sebastian Vettel. Paired with Charles Leclerc, highlights included an eighth-place finish in his debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix and his first Ferrari podium at the Monaco Grand Prix, securing second place. Despite challenges, such as strategic errors in Portugal and tire issues in France, Sainz showcased resilience, finishing sixth at the Styrian Grand Prix and achieving his fourth career podium in Hungary. Notably, at the Russian Grand Prix, he started second, led the race, and finished third. Sainz concluded the season fifth in the Drivers' Championship, earning 164.5 points and receiving acclaim for his swift adaptation to Ferrari and strong performances relative to Leclerc.

2021 Ferrari f1 car.

In 2022, Carlos Sainz continued with Ferrari alongside Leclerc. Notably, at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, he qualified third and secured a Ferrari 1–2 finish with Leclerc after Verstappen's retirement. Challenges followed, including a crash in Australia and a collision with Ricciardo in Emilia Romagna. Despite spinning at the Spanish Grand Prix, he finished fourth, his best result at his home race. Sainz claimed his first pole position at the British Grand Prix and clinched his maiden Formula One win in a wet race. Engine failure ended his race in Austria, but he recovered from the back in France to finish fifth. Another pole position in Belgium saw him finish third. The season concluded with Sainz matching his 2021 position, finishing fifth in the Drivers' Championship with 246 points to Leclerc's 308.

2022 Ferrari f1 car.

In the 2023 F1 season with Ferrari, Carlos Sainz had a turbulent ride. Starting strong in Bahrain, he faced a penalty in Australia and criticism for contact with Alonso. Despite podium potential in Miami and pole victories in Italy and Singapore, Sainz endured challenges in Monaco, Canada, and Qatar. He rebounded with a podium in the United States after Hamilton's disqualification. Mexico and Las Vegas brought mixed results, and a disappointing Abu Dhabi race saw him drop to seventh in the Drivers' Championship. Sainz concluded the season with 200 points, closely trailing teammate Leclerc with 206.

2023 Ferrari f1 car.

See you next race week for a race report!


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