McLaren confirmed Thursday that Carlos Sainz will race for its team in the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship. Sainz replaces fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso (pictured at right, with Sainz) – who announced earlier this week that he would not return to F1 next year – on the team. McLaren says it has signed the 23-year-old Sainz to a multi-year deal.
“We’re incredibly excited to have Carlos join us as a McLaren driver,” said team CEO Zak Brown. “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.
“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.”
Sainz, who is currently racing for Renault, indicated a McLaren seat had been his goal for some time.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
McLaren did not confirm whether Stoffel Vandoorne will return in its second car next season. “McLaren will communicate its full driver line-up for the 2019 season in due course,” the team stated.