With Fernando Alonso leaving F1 for the 2019 season, a seat at McLaren has opened up. Now, the British outfit has confirmed that Carlos Sainz will be Fernando Alonso’s successor. Starting next season, the Spaniard will be racing for the Woking outfit on a multi-year deal.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown said: “We’re incredibly excited to have Carlos join us as a McLaren driver,”
“We’ve been assessing him for some time now and rate him very highly among the next generation of young talent emerging through the ranks in Formula 1.”
One of the biggest stumbling blocks was Red Bull, since Sainz was still an option for them. Especially in the wake of Daniel Ricciardo’s departure to Renault.
The Milton Keynes outfit loaned Sainz to Renault for 2018 F1 season. So McLaren had to wait until the option lapsed or Red Bull withdrew it.
This announcement means that Pierre Gasly will more than likely be promoted to Red Bull.
Sainz said: “I’m delighted to finally be able to confirm that I’ll be a McLaren driver from the 2019 season.
“It’s something I’ve been looking at for a while and I’m very excited about this next chapter in my career.”
Sainz has consistently showcased his skills in the midfield and has been racing in F1 since 2015. With him taking the mantle, McLaren has a choice on who to pick as his teammate. Potential candidates include McLaren junior Lando Norris, Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon or retaining current driver Stoffel Vandoorne.
What does not work in the Belgian’s favour is a string of unimpressive performance. However, they are still uneasy about promoting Norris to a race seat.
Even if Vandoorne loses his seat, he has very few options in front of him. He could join Toro Rosso in place of the promoted Gasly alongside Brendon Hartley.