Sep 15, 2017

Carlos Sainz, official driver of Renault Sport Formula One Team

He will race for the team in 2018, but will maintain his relationship with Red Bull Racing

Madrid, September 15th 2017.- Renault Sport Formula One Team announced today the arrival of Carlos Sainz as its official race driver for the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship. Carlos takes a step forward in his professional career together with one of the three factory teams in the series. The team’s illustrious racing-record includes two Constructors Championships and two Drivers titles.

Carlos combines youth and experience. At 23 years of age, he is ready to contest in his fourth season in the Championship, in which he is expected to fight for the most ambitious goals of his professional career. His new team-mate will be Nico Hülkenberg.

Carlos takes on this new challenge with confidence, thanks to the good work he has done as a driver for Scuderia Toro Rosso in the past three seasons. The 100 points he has scored are a record in the history of the Faenza-based team. He scored points in his debut, the 2015 Australian GP, in which he finished ninth. His best Qualifying session ever was at the 2015 Spanish GP, where he set the fifth fastest lap. His best result is a sixth place, which he has repeated in four occasions: Spain 2016, United States 2016, Brazil 2016, Monaco 2017. As Daniil Kvyat’s team-mate, Carlos Sainz has proved to be the undisputed leader of the team, scoring 78 points while his team-mate scored 8. In the 18 races they have finished, the Spaniard has been ahead of the Russian 15 times. In 2017, his best season so far, he has scored points at every race he has finished with the exception of the recent Italian GP. Because of this work, Red Bull has decided to maintain Carlos in one of the most successful racing academies of the last decade.

Sainz and Renault, a familiar duo
Carlos’ relationship with Renault dates to his first days in single-seater racing. Together they have contested in 96 races and have scored 19 victories, 35 podiums and 19 Pole Positions in four different racing series. In 2010, he raced in the Eurocup Formula 2.0 scoring a podium in his very first outing. In 2011, he was champion of the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC with 10 victories, 17 podiums and 8 Pole Positions. He also came second in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 with 2 victories, 10 podiums and 4 Pole Positions. Carlos met again with Renault in 2013, when he contested in some events of the Formula Renault 3.5. He raced the whole season in 2014, winning the series with an all-time record in number of victories (7). With this result, he certified his ticket to Formula 1 together with Scuderia Toro Rosso. In Formula 1, he has raced with Renault-powered racing-cars in 2015 and 2017.

But this will not be the first time that a Sainz races with Renault. His uncle, Antonio Sainz, raced in rallyes with a Renault 5 Group 2. More notorious is the case of Carlos Sainz Cenamor, who was a factory driver for Renault Spain in 1985 and 1986, seasons in which he finished second in the national championship. His first experience with Renault was in 1980, when he raced the Rally Shalymar with a Renault 5 TS. In 1981, he took part in the Copa Iniciación, which he won comfortably in 1982. He participated in circuit events in the following year, while in rallying he was champion of the Zona Centro in 1983 and 1984 with a Renault 5 Turbo Group 4.

Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director, Renault Sport Racing: "Carlos Sainz is a very promising driver who has been on our radar for some time, especially after his successes in Renault junior formulae. It is positive news for us to be able to confirm Carlos for 2018. This choice is well aligned with our mid-term strategic plans. We feel that Nico and Carlos will complement each other on and off track and the combination should help us push forwards on the grid. I would like to thank Helmut Marko for loaning Carlos to us for this period. We must thank Jolyon for his ongoing hard work with the team and his efforts over the past two seasons. He is a dedicated driver and we wish him the best in the next steps of his career".

Carlos Sainz: "I’m very happy to be joining Renault Sport Formula One Team. 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 their history. I am looking forward to working with everyone at Enstone and Viry, and driving alongside Nico Hülkenberg. I have worked closely with Renault in Formula 1 and previously in motorsport, so I know their motivation and capabilities. This is the start of a very exciting new chapter in my career. I would like to say thank you to Red Bull for all their confidence and support and for allowing me to take this opportunity. Last but not least, I specially want to thank all the people that work in Toro Rosso. They are a fantastic team of professionals and I wish them the best for the future".

Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull Motorsport Consultant: "We are happy to have reached an agreement for Carlos to drive for Renault Sport Formula One Team in 2018. He is a tremendous talent and he will benefit from working with a manufacturer team alongside a highly experienced driver. This will give Carlos a different challenge and we will be keenly watching his progress there as he remains part of the Red Bull family. This is very good development for both Carlos and Renault Sport Formula One Team and will also allow us to bring a new talent into Formula One".

About Renault Sport F1
Renault’s origins in Formula 1 date back to the 1977 season. Renault was the author of one of the most important technical innovations in the history for the sport: the first turbo engine. With work and patience, they developed their concept until they scored their very first victory in France 1979. Their progress was evident and soon other manufacturers followed their steps. In fact, today Formula 1 is living the second Turbo era, although modern power-unit are much more complex than they were four decades ago.

Renault has participated in 334 races as an official team, with 35 victories, 100 podiums and 51 Pole Positions. They won the Constructors Championship in 2005 and 2006, and the Drivers too with Spanish driver Fernando Alonso. As an engine constructor, Renault has played a great role in the championships of Nigel Mansell (1992), Alain Prost (1993), Damon Hill (1996) and Jacques Villeneuve (1997) with Williams-Renault, and Michael Schumacher (1995) with Benetton-Renault. Renault was involved in six Constructors Championships from 1992 to 1997. They also powered Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull in the four World Constructors & Drivers titles they conquered from 2010 to 2013.

Renault Sport Formula One Team main factory is at Enstone, Great Britain. Its engine department is at Viry-Chatillon, France. Jérôme Stoll is the president of Renault Sport. Cyril Abiteboul is the managing director of the Formula One operation. The technical area is under the management of engineer Bob Bell, who controls the chassis and engine departaments, operated by Nick Chester and Rémi Taffin respectively.

Renault returned to Formula 1 in 2016, after a five-year hiatus. The French team has followed a rigorous plan to improve its facilities, gain strength and prepare itself to fight at the pinnacle of the sport. The brand has a strong commitment with the sport and the goal is to fight for the World Championship in 2020.