After Fernando Alonso announced his retirement from F1 his fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz has been announced as his replacement at Mclaren.
It had been speculated before Alonso’s announcment that Sainz would move to Mclaren after Ricciardo snapped up his Renault seat and Red Bull seem set on Gasly.
“I’m delighted to finally be able to confirm that I’ll be a McLaren driver from the 2019 season.” Said Sainz.
“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.
“Finally, I’d like to thank everyone at McLaren for giving me this opportunity to fulfil a childhood dream. The team has a long-term plan for the future and I’m very much looking forward to playing a key role in its journey back to success.”
Mclaren Principal Zac Brown added:
“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.
“It’s no secret that Carlos is a huge admirer of Fernando’s, and it’s fitting that he will be stepping into his seat as a Spaniard with a legendary name in motorsport. We think he’ll be a great fit for McLaren and we’re really excited to have him join us from next season and beyond.”
The statement also said Mclaren would announce their other driver in due course.
The possibilities for the second seat are pretty big as Mercedes will look to secure Ocon a seat since Stoll will likely take his place at Force India, failing that they could promote F2 driver and reserve Lando Norris or go for Nyck de Vries or stick with current driver Vandoorne who has struggled to be competitive against double champion Alonso.