FERNANDO ALONSO will be joined by a fellow Spaniard on the Formula One grid next season, with Carlos Sainz Jr being handed a drive with Toro Rosso.
The 20-year-old son of former world rally champion Carlos Sainz will be joined at the Toro Rosso team by 17-year-old Max Verstappen, making the pairing one of the youngest in Formula One history.
“I am really happy to have landed the drive with Toro Rosso,” said Sainz. “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 One.”
Sainz said that he would be working hard over the next few months to prepare for his F1 debut, and was looking forward to his “official” first drive in his home country during team testing in Jerez.
Franz Tost, team principal at Toro Rosso, said: “With Carlos joining Max in our driver line-up we continue the Toro Rosso tradition of providing youngsters from the Red Bull junior programme with their first steps in Formula One.
“I have watched Carlos progress through the junior categories, always improving as he moved higher up the ladder, culminating in a well-deserved win in this year’s World Series. However, I also remember the day’s testing he did with us at Silverstone in 2013. He really surprised me and his engineers that day with his mature approach and his speed.”