Bit by bit, the pieces of the puzzle required to lay the foundations of a winning team in Formula 1 are taking shape. With the recruitment of Carlos Sainz Jr, Renault Sport Formula One Team has taken another significant step forward in its development. The Spaniard is a hot property indeed, having tallied 48 of the 52 points registered by his team so far this year!
Carlos Jr is not, however, entirely new to the Renault family. Like his famous father – who won the circuit-based Renault 5 Cup before going on to establish himself as a rallying legend – the team’s new boy followed Renault’s junior ladder as he progressed through the ranks. After taking the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup title in 2011, he clinched the World Series by Renault crown three years later – a success that vaulted him directly into Formula 1 in 2015. Since then, the Madrid native has scored 112 points from 56 grand prix starts – an impressive record.
This choice is well-aligned with our mid-term strategic plans. We feel that Nico [Hülkenberg] and Carlos will complement each other both on and off-track and the combination should help us push forwards on the grid.” Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport Racing Managing Director.
Carlos Jr will duly become the second member of the celebrated Sainz family to climb into the cockpit of a Renault Formula 1 car, following in the footsteps of his father Carlos Sr, who was invited to try out the world championship-winning Renault R25 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 2006.
That, though, was a short test-drive, whereas what awaits Carlos Jr is an altogether more serious opportunity – and he would not want it any other way.
To be a Formula 1 driver for a manufacturer team is an honour and I hope to reward Renault’s faith in me with my very best performances on-track. The trajectory of Renault Sport Formula One Team is exciting and I’m proud to join at such an important time in its history. This is the start of a very exciting new chapter in my career.” Carlos Sainz, Renault Sport Formula One Team driver.
Whilst the team itself will be new to him, Carlos Jr is no stranger to the Circuit of The Americas. Last year, he lined up inside the top ten in qualifying and took the chequered flag sixth in the race – one of his best results in F1 to-date. The 23-year-old recently went on to better that with a fourth-place finish in last month’s Singapore Grand Prix. He has even loftier targets still behind the wheel of the Renault R.S.17.
Can’t wait to see Carlos Sainz take to the track in Renault’s R.S.17? Then make sure you don’t miss the United States Grand Prix at 9pm (CET) on Sunday, October 22!