The 20-year-old Spanish driver won both the Formula Renault 2.0 and 3.5 titles (the latter as the youngest in series history), and apparently impressed the Red Bull higher-ups during testing at Silverstone last year and the recently concluded postseason session in Abu Dhabi. The son of two-time rally champ Carlos Sainz will partner with Max Verstappen next season in an all-rookie lineup, beating out veteran Jean-Eric Vergne, as well as GP3 champion Alex Lynn for the race seat.
With Sainz's announcement, the only seats left open are at Caterham – a team whose entire future remains in doubt – and McLaren, which has still yet to officially confirm the arrival of Fernando Alonso, or for that matter, which driver will team up with him for next season.
Scuderia Toro Rosso is pleased to announce that Carlos Sainz will join the team with immediate effect. It means that our driver line-up for the 2015 season is now established as Max Verstappen and Carlo Sainz.
The 20 year old Spaniard took the standard route into motorsport, winning the Asia-Pacific KF3 karting title in 2008 and two years later he made his single-seater debut in Formula BMW, before moving up the ranks through Formula Renault 2.0, British Formula 3, then GP3 in 2013. This year has seen Sainz become the youngest ever winner of the World Series by Renault 3.5 Championship. Last week, Carlos drove in the Abu Dhabi test for Infiniti Red Bull Racing.
Carlos Sainz: "I am really happy to have landed the drive with Scuderia Toro Rosso. Ever since I have been part of Red Bull's Young Driver Programme, this has been my aim and I want to thank Red Bull for putting their faith in me. I have had a very successful season in World Series by Renault this year and now I am looking forward to taking the step up to Formula 1. I tested for a day with Toro Rosso last year and I liked the atmosphere in the team. In the next few months I will be working hard on my preparation, ready to get in the cockpit in Jerez for the first test of next year. It will be nice to make my "official" debut as a Formula 1 driver in my home country!"
Franz Tost: "With Carlos Sainz joining Max Verstappen in our driver line-up next year, we continue the Toro Rosso tradition of providing youngsters from the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme with their first steps in Formula 1. I have watched Carlos progress through the junior categories, always improving as he moved higher up the ladder, culminating in a well-deserved win in this year's World Series. However, I also remember the day's testing he did with us at Silverstone in 2013 in the STR8. He really surprised me and his engineers that day, with his mature approach and his speed."