Scuderia Toro Rosso has confirmed that Carlos Sainz Jr. will be racing for the team next season alongside Max Verstappen, forming an all-rookie line-up for 2015.
Sainz won this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 championship in emphatic fashion, following in Kevin Magnussen’s footsteps by winning the title ahead of fellow Red Bull junior driver Pierre Gasly.
The Spaniard had originally missed out on a seat with Toro Rosso when the team confirmed that Verstappen would be racing for the team alongside current driver Daniil Kvyat.
However, when Sebastian Vettel announced that he would be leaving Red Bull at the end of the season, Kvyat was promoted as the German’s replacement, opening up a slot at Toro Rosso.
This opened up a four-way fight for the seat alongside Verstappen between would-be rookies Sainz, Gasly and GP3 champion Alex Lynn, or the option of retaining Jean-Eric Vergne for a third season.
Vergne was the favored option for Verstappen, who was keen on an experienced driver to help with his development in his debut season.
Nevertheless, in-keeping with its policy of pairing two rookie drivers together at Toro Rosso, Red Bull confirmed today that Sainz would be racing alongside Verstappen next year.
— Red Bull Motorsports (@redbullmotors) November 28, 2014
“I am really happy to have landed the drive with Scuderia Toro Rosso,” Sainz said. “Ever since I have been part of Red Bull’s Young Driver Programme, this has been my aim and I want to thank Red Bull for putting their faith in me.
“I have had a very successful season in World Series by Renault this year and now I am looking forward to taking the step up to Formula 1. I tested for a day with Toro Rosso last year and I liked the atmosphere in the team.
“In the next few months I will be working hard on my preparation, ready to get in the cockpit in Jerez for the first test of next year. It will be nice to make my “official” debut as a Formula 1 driver in my home country!”