Skip to content

Sainz Jr. continues to stake his claim for Toro Rosso seat

Apr 26, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

F1 Young Driver Tests - Silverstone: Day Three Getty Images

Carlos Sainz Jr. has continued to make his case for replacing Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso in the near future after claiming pole position and winning today’s World Series by Renault race in Spain today.

The Red Bull junior driver and son of World Rally Championship legend Carlos Sainz went unchallenged during the first of two races at Motorland Aragon today, having started on pole position by just 0.018 seconds. He ultimately won by 12 seconds ahead of Russian driver Nikolay Martsenko.

Sainz Jr. won the second race at Monza in the first round two weeks ago, and with this victory, he appears to be leading the race to replace Vergne at Toro Rosso.

Vergne has by no means failed to deliver for Toro Rosso, but following his snubbing for the Red Bull seat last season, it appears that there is not much of a future for him within the team’s set up.

Red Bull’s junior programme has been rather brutal over the years, chewing up and spitting out the likes of Christian Klien, Robert Doornbos, Scott Speed, Sebastian Buemi, Sebastien Bourdais, Jaime Alguersuari and Vitantonio Liuzzi. The only two drivers to have successfully made the step up to Red Bull are Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, whilst none of the other drivers listed remain in the sport.

When Ricciardo moved to Red Bull last season, the vacant seat at Toro Rosso was thought to be between Sainz Jr. and fellow Red Bull junior Antonio Felix da Costa. However, GP3 champion Daniil Kvyat was the shock choice, but he has since proven that it was indeed the right call.

However, this did not shut the door for da Costa or Sainz Jr. Given that Vergne has only recorded a best finish of sixth during his two full seasons of F1 and failed to turn many heads in the sport, it could be that he is dropped in the next twelve months to make way for one of these drivers.

Sainz Jr. is certainly doing a fantastic job to stake a claim, though. da Costa is spending 2014 racing in the German DTM championship, and although he is still associated with Red Bull, he is no longer an ‘official’ junior driver unlike Sainz Jr.

Should Sainz Jr. continue to win races and impress in the Renault-backed feeder series, the team may opt to act sooner rather than later and draft him in for Vergne.

Latest Posts
  1. Manor receives dispensation to race in Malaysia despite missing 107% time in qualifying

    Mar 28, 2015, 7:49 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Qualifying Getty Images

    Merhi and Stevens miss the 107% time required to qualify in Malaysia, but are granted dispensation by the FIA stewards.

  2. Vettel hoping for more rain on Sunday after scoring Ferrari’s first front-row start in two years (VIDEO)

    Mar 28, 2015, 7:30 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 Getty Images

    Felipe Massa was the last driver to start on the front row of the grid for Ferrari, lining up second for the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix.

  3. Rosberg annoyed to qualify third for Malaysian GP

    Mar 28, 2015, 7:10 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 Getty Images

    German driver cannot improve with his final lap in Q3, leaving him third on the grid behind Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

  4. Hamilton tames wet conditions to grab pole in Malaysia

    Mar 28, 2015, 6:36 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Qualifying Getty Images

    Defending world champion manages to fight through the spray to secure pole position ahead of Vettel and Rosberg.

  5. WATCH LIVE: Malaysian GP qualifying at 5a ET on NBCSN and Live Extra

    Mar 28, 2015, 4:45 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Practice Getty Images

    Could a thunderstorm rain on Mercedes parade? Join us for qualifying from 5a ET today.

  6. Rosberg closes out Malaysian GP practice fastest

    Mar 28, 2015, 3:06 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 Getty Images

    German driver edges out Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in final practice at Sepang.

  7. WATCH LIVE: Malaysian GP FP3 at 2a ET on Live Extra

    Mar 28, 2015, 1:30 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 Getty Images

    FP3 for the Malaysian Grand Prix rolls off at 2 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra.

  8. NHRA: Rain washes out Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying four 4-Wide Nationals

    Mar 27, 2015, 7:08 PM EDT

    nhra four-wide nationals

    Rain washed out Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying for this weekend’s 6th annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.

  9. IndyCar: St. Pete practice two scrubbed due to rain, and other notes

    Mar 27, 2015, 6:03 PM EDT

    IndyCar Testing Getty Images

    No IndyCar second practice, and other notes from St. Petersburg.

  10. Pro Mazda: Michael Johnson hospitalized after practice accident

    Mar 27, 2015, 5:50 PM EDT

    Photo: Pro Mazda Photo: Pro Mazda

    Michael Johnson in ICU after practice accident at St. Petersburg.

  11. The Equalization Conundrum: Should F1 put sport to one side in favor of ‘the show’?

    Mar 27, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 Getty Images

    Are Red Bull’s recent quibbles about Mercedes’ dominance well-reasoned, or is it simply a case of sour grapes?

  12. Marciello enjoys confident first outing for Sauber

    Mar 27, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    Raffaele Marciello AP

    Marciello becomes the first Italian driver in four years to take part in an F1 weekend session.

  13. Palmer to take part in Chinese Grand Prix practice

    Mar 27, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Jolyon Palmer AP

    2014 GP2 champion will take part in his first F1 grand prix weekend session in Shanghai.

  14. Power leads Penske 1-2-3 in IndyCar’s first practice at St. Petersburg (VIDEO)

    Mar 27, 2015, 1:50 PM EDT

    Photo: INDYCAR Photo: INDYCAR

    Will Power leads IndyCar’s opening practice session of 2015.

  15. Tost excited by prospect of Renault buying Toro Rosso

    Mar 27, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Practice Getty Images

    However, Renault could pull out of F1 altogether in the near future should it decide that its involvement is no longer viable.

  16. Vettel unsure where Ferrari stands compared to Mercedes

    Mar 27, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Sebastian Vettel AP

    Hot conditions make for difficult running during practice on Friday.

  17. Practice setbacks leave Hamilton “quite a bit off” in Malaysia (VIDEO)

    Mar 27, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    Malaysia F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Defending world champion sidelined by engine issues in FP1 on Friday.

  18. Alonso enjoys F1 return, but admits he is not 100% fit yet

    Mar 27, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 Getty Images

    Spaniard completes 45 laps in Friday practice as he gets back behind the wheel of an F1 car for the first time in a month.