A brief biography of Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz, including his career history and Formula One statistics
By the time Carlos Sainz made his debut in the world, his famous father had already clinched two World Rally Championships. In the circumstances it was perhaps inevitable that the younger Sainz would also heed the call of motor racing, and he started with karting when he was aged seven. It must have been very strange indeed to have been learning his race craft at an indoor karting centre owned and run by his father.
In 2009 he won both the Western European region of the KF3 series and the Monaco Kart Cup, a prestigious event previously won by the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica. The following year he graduated to car racing and was invited to join Red Bull’s renowned junior team headed up by Dr Helmut Marko. Sainz didn't disappoint, finishing the year in fourth in the European Formula BMW championship and taking a commanding victory at Macau in the sister Asian-Pacific series.
The next season saw him compete in Formula Renault 2.0, and he beat fellow Red Bull protege Daniil Kvyat to win the Northern European Cup with a total of 12 wins out of 26 podiums in 34 races. Red Bull promoted him into British and European Formula 3 in 2012 and while it wasn't the greatest of campaigns for him there was still a fabulous victory at a sodden Spa-Francorchamps to maintain his rising profile.
That potential blossomed in 2014 with a dominant run in the Formula Renault 3.5 series where he notched up a record-breaking seven wins en route to that year's title and was duly rewarded with a coveted Formula One race seat at Toro Rosso for 2015, replacing Jean-Eric Vergne alongside fellow new signing Max Verstappen.
In his rookie season the Grand Prix paddock, Sainz finished in the points on seven occasions - but there were also just as many retirements, largely due to reliability. Consistency was better in 2016 but Sainz was deeply disappointed to miss out on a potential promotion to the senior Red Bull team which went instead to Verstappen four races into the season.
The Spaniard played down the decision amid interest from other teams, which is welcome due to the talent in position at Red Bull. Whether Sainz will eventually get his own chance, or whether he will instead follow in a long line of rising Toro Rosso stars whose Formula One careers have come to a premature end before getting to the apex of the sport, remains to be seen.
2017 sees Sainz partner Daniil Kvyat once again as Toro Rosso look to improve on the 7th place finish that 2016 brought.