With the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 title in his pocket, Carlos Sainz looks to the future in Formula 1...
In spite of the impression his father left in the rally world, Carlos Sainz quickly made his way to circuit racing. “When I was nine, Fernando Alonso began to win in F1”, explains the Spaniard. “You only saw him on television. My father had already retired from rallying, which is a sport that has relative importance in Spain. I started off in karting. Then, when your are 15 years-old and Red Bull calls, you say yes !”
After a successful period in karting, he moved up to single-seaters in 2010. Rookie of the year in Formula BMW Europe, he concluded that season in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 with a maiden podium finish in his first race. Dedicating 2011 to Formula Renault 2.0, he dominated the North European Cup with 10 victories and 17 top-three results in 20 races, but he lost out to Robin Frijns in the Eurocup. He then moved to Formula 3, then in the GP3 Series, Carlos Sainz didn’t live up to expectations and saw fellow Red Bull Junior Team driver, Daniil Kvyat take the crown.
If someone had said to me at the start of the year that I would win so many races, I wouldn’t have believed them.
In 2013, the Spaniard made his return to the World Series by Renault via the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. With Zeta Corse, he stood out in the streets of Monaco where he qualified on row two before finishing sixth. Also showing his speed at Spa, Carlos Sainz came back for the three final meetings to prepare for the 2014 season. At the same time, he made an impression in his Formula 1 debut during a young driver test at Silverstone.
“After mixed results in 2013, I knew I wouldn’t be racing in F1 », admits the Spaniard. “A lot of things happened, some were not easy to deal with, but I had to change in many areas during the winter. 2014 would my year, and I thank Red Bull for giving me a second opportunity !”
Joining the DAMS team, just after they won the title with Kevin Magnussen, Carlos Sainz lived up to the expectations put upon him. Despite an opening race at Monza where he had a problem that left him blocked on the pole position, he starred the following day, taking the win. Quickly, he was leading the championship but put his lead into perspective.
Now I have to wait, while hoping to quickly get some news, good or bad.
“Enormous sacrifices went into getting these kinds of results”, he confides. “You can’t even imagine ! All this work paid off, especially at Motorland Aragón, because a win at home is always special. We enjoyed some happy days, before it got tricky following Spa-Francochamps. It was a tough battle beginning in Moscow, a circuit I didn’t know.”
Not as dominating on the sinuous tracks and some bad luck like at the Nürburgring, the Spaniard, all the same, limited the damage scoring points twice in Budapest. Then, he got back on track in world-class fashion in France at Circuit Paul Ricard with two triumphs. What a way to become the new race wins record holder, but also highest number of fastest race laps and most kilometres led in a season.
“If someone had said to me at the start of the year that I would win so many races, I wouldn’t have believed them. It is incredible. I still can’t believe it. I will remember all my life the Paul Ricard meeting. It was at that moment that I realized I could do it because we showed that even under pressure ; we managed to put the pieces of the puzzle together when everyone said we would crack. It wasn’t the case and we answered in the best possible way.”
Now with the title his, Carlos Sainz looks to the future in hoping to join the ranks of Formula 1 as soon as he can.
"The results are there and there are opportunities. Now I have to wait, while hoping to quickly get some news, good or bad. I accomplished a lot of things this season ; I hope to get this chance.”
Born : 1 September 1994 Madrid (Spain)
2005-2009 : Karting
2010 : Formula BMW Europe (4th)
2011 : Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (2nd), Formula Renault 2.0 NEC (Champion)
2012 : FIA F3 European Championship (5th), British F3 (6th)
2013 : Formula Renault 3.5 Series (19th), GP3 Series (10th)
2014 : Formula Renault 3.5 Series (Champion)