McLaren have disclosed that Carlos Sainz Jr. will replace fellow Spanish driver Fernando Alonso for the 2019 season.
Two-time world champion Alonso, 37, announced the decision to retire from the sport at the end of the current season earlier this week and McLaren have wasted no time in naming Sainz as his replacement.
While making the announcement, 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.
“Carlos brings with him the perfect blend of youth and experience. Although he’s just 23, he’ll be starting his fifth season in the sport with us and will bring with him a huge amount of racing experience, both in Formula 1 and with our partner Renault.” He stated further.
Sainz added: “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.”
“I’ve been a McLaren fan for as long as I can remember. It’s a great name in the sport with an incredible heritage, and the list of drivers that have raced for McLaren over the years are among the heroes of Formula 1.
“Fernando is of course one of them, so it’s particularly special that I’ll be taking his seat as part of the next generation of Spanish racing drivers behind the wheel of a McLaren.” He concluded.
Carlos Sainz Jr. became available after French team Renault signed up Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo to partner Nico Hulkenberg.
The 23-year-old has been on loan at Renault from Red Bull this season.