In case you missed the big Formula 1 headlines last week, Sebastian Vettel is out at Ferrari and Carlos Sainz Jr. is in. The Spaniard is set to replace the four-time world champion at Scuderia next season after the German failed to agree to a contract extension.
Some SBOBET Formula 1 fans may not have much information about Sainz, who is set to take a major step in his young career. So before he takes over for Vettel next season, here are five things to know about Ferrari’s incoming driver.
1. Sainz has a strong racing background
Racing is in Sainz’s blood. His father, Carlos Sainz Sr., is a two-time world rally champion. Sainz Sr. is still racing at age 58 and won the 2020 Dakar Rally earlier this year. Sainz’s uncle, Antonio, was also a rally driver.
The younger Sainz is no slouch as well. He won the Junior Monaco Kart Cup in 2009 and also became the youngest champion in the history of the Renault World Series 3.5 back in 2014.
2. Sainz is on his fourth F1 team
The 25-year-old Sainz has been in F1 since 2015, and Ferrari will already be his fourth team. He made his Formula One debut in 2015 with Toro Rosso alongside Max Verstappen. He spent three seasons at the team, racing 56 times.
Sainz left for Renault at the tail-end of the 2017 season. He finished the year 9th in the driver’s standings. He then spent the 2018 season with Renault before moving on to McLaren in 2019.
3. Sainz shares similarities with Vettel
Sainz has much in common with the driver he’s replacing in Vettel. Both of them started in karting, then gradually worked their way up to through the German BMW Series, F3 Euroseries and World Series by Renault. And like Sainz, Vettel also began his F1 career with Toro Rosso.
One big difference between the two, of course, is that Sainz didn’t win four consecutive driver’s championships as Vettel did with Red Bull.
The Formula 1 2020 odds won’t have Sainz as one of the favourites for the title, but expect those odds to change dramatically once he makes his way to Ferrari next season.
4. Sao Paulo holds a special place in Sainz’s heart
The 2019 season-ending race at Interlagos in Sao Paulo, Brazil will forever hold a special place in Sainz’s heart. That was where he claimed his first career podium finish, just behind former team-mate Max Verstappen as well as Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly.
What makes that achievement all the more spectacular was the fact that Sainz had to start all the way in last place after a power unit failure in qualifying. Without a doubt, that was one of the Formula 1 2020 highlights of the season.
Sainz actually finished in fourth but was bumped up to the podium after world champion Lewis Hamilton was handed a penalty for his part in a crash with Red Bull’s Alexander Albon.
Sainz also could have been subject to a penalty, but he was let off the hook by the marshals and inherited third.
“Today is a special day for me, for the team because we did everything we could do, we did it right because everything in our hands we did it very well,” Sainz said per F1.com.
“It was maximum attack from Lap 1, the moves on [Sergio] Perez, the Alfas, the Haas… I made it stick every time I could and it was one of those days as a driver that everything happens and clicks and I’m happy I made it happen.”
The race was significant for McLaren as well as it was the team’s first podium finish in five years. Sainz finished sixth in the driver’s standings that year, his best performance to date.
5. Sainz adds to Ferrari’s Spanish stable
Sainz becomes just the third Spanish driver to driver for Ferrari after Alfonso de Portago and former world champion Fernando Alonso. Alonso had much praise for Sainz and has backed his compatriot to do well with Ferrari.
“Carlos is doing great, not only last year,” Alonso told Sky Sports. “I think last year the whole team did a good season and Carlos was there in the right moment, in the right place.
“I think it’s great for the country, good for Spain and I think he will have a great future.”
Like Vettel, Alonso did not end up winning a championship in his four years with Ferrari. Sainz will no doubt be eager to succeed where his more illustrious countryman did not.
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