LONDON, England – Carlos Sainz, 23, will replace Fernando Alonso at McLaren for his fifth season in the class, starting with the first race of the 2019 Formula 1 season.
Alonso had announced his retirement from the sport.
Sainz, son of cross-country and Dakar rally star Carlos Sainz snr, is currently driving for Renault, courtesy of Red Bull, and is 11th in the Drivers’ standings.
He told Reuters: “I’m delighted to confirm that I’ll be a McLaren driver in 2019 – it’s something I’ve been looking at for a while and it’s particularly special that I’ll be taking Fernando’s seat as part of the next generation of Spanish drivers in a McLaren.”
Reports did not identify Sainz’ team mate though current driver Stoffel Vandoorne and Briton Lando are in the picture.
McLaren chief Zak Brown is reported as saying Sainz would bring a lot of racing experience. “We rate him very highly among the next generation of young F1 talent.”
Mclaren said it would name all its drivers “in due course”.