Spanish racer to succeed compatriot at Woking squad; 18-year-old Brit Lando Norris is in contention to join him
James Attwood, digital editor
16 August 2018

Spanish racer Carlos Sainz Jr will switch from Renault to replace Fernando Alonso at the McLaren-Renault Formula 1 team next season.

The 23-year-old is under contract to Red Bull but driving for the works Renault squad on loan this year. Sainz’s future had been uncertain after Daniel Ricciardo switched from Red Bull to Renault.

He was under consideration to replace Ricciardo, but McLaren swooped to sign Sainz to a ‘multi-year deal’ after compatriot Alonso decided to leave F1.

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“Carlos brings with him the perfect blend of youth and experience,” said McLaren boss Zak Brown. “Although he’s just 23, he’ll be starting his fifth season in the sport and will bring with him a huge amount of racing experience.”

Sainz, the son of double world rally champion Carlos Sainz Sr, made his F1 debut with Toro Rosso in 2015 and drove for the Italian squad until switching to Renault late last season.

Sainz’s McLaren deal clears the way for current Toro Rosso racer Pierre Gasly to be promoted to the main Red Bull team to partner Max Verstappen next year.

It's still unknown who will partner Sainz at McLaren in 2019. The team’s release didn’t mention current driver Stoffel Vandoorne, simply saying that it would “communicate its full driver line-up for the 2019 season in due course”.

Vandoorne is in his second season at the team but has generally trailed Alonso for pace. Drivers tipped to be in contention for the seat include 18-year-old Briton Lando Norris, who is McLaren’s reserve driver and a title contender in Formula 2 this season.

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Comments
9

16 August 2018

 I think so, Sainz won’t be a winner because he’s not in a winning Car yet, Lando Norris ( sorry, but he sounds like a Bond baddie) is a left field surprise for me, but, really the main problem at McLaren IS the McLaren....

Peter Cavellini.

16 August 2018

Was expecting Raikkonen to get a drive because without a former WDC big name McLaren just won't get the publicity they need. By way of example when Sainz is running in 11th will the commentary team talk about him, his car or strategy in the same way and as often, I doubt it.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

16 August 2018

 Carlos Sainz?, every heard of him?, World Rally Champion way back when Cars looked like Cars not some bewinged silhouette!!!!, well, that’s who Sainz’s old man is...., as for any “special commentary “ I think that’ll still depend if McLaren can give him a better Car than the last two years woeful effort.

Peter Cavellini.

16 August 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 Carlos Sainz?, every heard of him?, World Rally Champion way back when Cars looked like Cars not some bewinged silhouette!!!!, well, that’s who Sainz’s old man is...., as for any “special commentary “ I think that’ll still depend if McLaren can give him a better Car than the last two years woeful effort.

And not as famous or as proven as Alonso! Remember they talk about the driver not the driver's dad!

 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

16 August 2018
xxxx wrote:

Was expecting Raikkonen to get a drive because without a former WDC big name McLaren just won't get the publicity they need. By way of example when Sainz is running in 11th will the commentary team talk about him, his car or strategy in the same way and as often, I doubt it.

Interesting point, like you suggest they could become lost in the rear of the field, mentioned as infrequently as Sauber, slipping into the spiral of garnering even less sponsorship so have even less money to develop the car, getting further behind.

I wonder if McLaren still have delusions of granduer/arrogance, still thinking they'll be closer to the front again next (next season will be our year mentality...) season so this wont be an issue.

16 August 2018

 Bob Cat Brian@, In the cut and thrust of F1 if you don’t have conviction in Car, team, Drivers down to the humble Mechanic, then your not going to win, not even top ten, when Redbull came to F1 they had a small team but a Car with potential inherited from Jaguar, there forward thinking led them to dominate for four years with Vettel and Webber, now for the want of a better Engine they’d be right there again!, McLaren just dropped the Ball, thought they’d pick it up again and with Alonso and make him World Champion, well we know that didn’t work. We will just have to wait and see how the rest of the season goes I guess and hope next year, the new regs and all and see how it pans out for Mclaren.

Peter Cavellini.

16 August 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 Bob Cat Brian@, In the cut and thrust of F1 if you don’t have conviction in Car, team, Drivers down to the humble Mechanic, then your not going to win, not even top ten, when Redbull came to F1 they had a small team but a Car with potential inherited from Jaguar, there forward thinking led them to dominate for four years with Vettel and Webber, now for the want of a better Engine they’d be right there again!, McLaren just dropped the Ball, thought they’d pick it up again and with Alonso and make him World Champion, well we know that didn’t work. We will just have to wait and see how the rest of the season goes I guess and hope next year, the new regs and all and see how it pans out for Mclaren.

 

I don’t get the point you’re trying to make?

17 August 2018

 Bob Cat Brian@, How long did it take Mercedes to get to the top?, Schumacher was brought in to help them get there, other than Brawn I can’t think of a team that turned there fortune round in a year or two, McLaren will come back, whether Sainz got the gig on his own merits or not he’s not Champion material yet, McLaren have to have someone, Vettel and Hamilton aren’t going to jump Ship and sign up if McLaren strike gold with next years Car, like I said it’s a suck it and see scenario...

Peter Cavellini.

16 August 2018

It will be a long time before McLaren are winning again, or Sainz gets his first win. This is why Ricciardo did not sign with them. With Ojeh leaving McLaren, it's obvious the board are getting tired of Brown and it's only a matter of time before he gets replaced -- hopefully by Ron Dennis before McLaren becomes a full-on irreversable Williams. With this eventual reshuffle in leadership, things are probably going to get worse before they get better.

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