Carlos Sainz will remember every minute and every second of 18th July. Making his Formula 1 debut, on a unique circuit like Silverstone, with whole teams of specialist mechanics and engineers making sure every millimetre of the invaluable car is perfectly prepared so you can go out and do battle in it – that’s something that can never be forgotten.
The son of the two-time world rally champion climbed into the Red Bull car at the age of 18 and the parallels of that day with Fernando Alonso‘s debut, also aged 18, and also with Red Bull (although the team was called Minardi at the time), are striking.
Sainz took part in the test of young drivers as part of the Red Bull junior team, which is a team that tends to test drivers out at an early stage, as they also did with Jaime Alguersuari. Carlos, who’s won races in Formula BMW and is champion of Renault 2.0 North Europe, currently races in GP3, a competition to give young upcoming drivers a chance to develop their skills at various Formula1 circuits.
Fourteen years ago, Alonso had just won Formula Nissan, and the MoviStar Euro Open, and on 13th December 1999 he tested the Minardi along with another seven drivers.
Franz Tost, head of the Red Bull team, said that a week prior to the test, Sainz travelled to Faenza where the team has its headquarters. “He didn’t just come to adjust the seat, but he had a good look at all of the technology and he was full of intelligent questions. He had undergone in-depth preparation with extensive simulations”, he said in Speedweek.
Sainz, who lives in Milton Keynes, close to the Red Bull base, is a regular at the team’s simulator, a facility that Fernando didn’t have back in 1999 and still didn’t have when he became an official driver in 2003.
- MST: Sainz Jr. not thinking about F1 seat yet (motorsportstalk.nbcsports.com)
- Top Five Formula 1 Teams chase world championship at Silverstone, Nurburgring (roadloans.com)
- Red Bull confirm talks with Fernando Alonso. (pitlanetalk.wordpress.com)
- Fernando Alonso set to rock British Grand Prix in Oakley (debenhams.com)