Red Bull youngster Carlos Sainz Jr. has taken a huge step towards securing a Formula 1 seat in the near future after dominating the latest round of the Formula Renault 3.5 season at Spa this weekend.
The Spaniard won both races from pole position at the historic circuit to surge into a 43-point lead at the top of the drivers’ standings, and is well-placed to follow in Kevin Magnussen’s footsteps and clinch the title this season.
Formula Renault 3.5 is widely regarded as being one of F1’s premier feeder series alongside GP2, and has produced a number of the current drivers racing in the sport. Daniel Ricciardo, Pastor Maldonado, Jules Bianchi and Jean-Eric Vergne have all raced in the Renault-backed series, and Sebastian Vettel also took part in half of the 2007 season before moving up to F1 earlier than planned.
Sainz Jr., the son of rally legend Carlos, is one of three premier juniors with Red Bull at the moment, and is poised to take Vergne’s place at Toro Rosso at the end of the season.
Fellow Red Bull-backed driver Pierre Gasly finished directly behind Sainz on Saturday, and came home in fourth on Sunday. He remains in second place in the championship, and is definitely a star to look out for in the future.
The race on Saturday was particularly frenetic, but Sainz managed to keep his head whilst all about him lost theirs and win ahead of Gasly.
Sauber junior driver Sergey Sirotkin failed to finish either race at Spa, extending his streak of DNFs to four.