Toro Rosso have taken the unusual step of having an all-rookie line-up, signing Carlos Sainz Jr as Max Verstappen’s 2015 team-mate.
In what is set to be by far the most inexperienced line-up on the grid, 20-year-old Sainz Jr will partner the teenager at Red Bull’s junior team.
Sainz Jr, who tested with Red Bull at the Yas Marina circuit this week, will enter Formula 1 on the back of his World Series by Renault 3.5 Championship success.
“I am really happy to have landed the drive with Scuderia Toro Rosso,” he said.
“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 1.
“I tested for a day with Toro Rosso last year and I liked the atmosphere in the team.
“In the next few months I will be working hard on my preparation, ready to get in the cockpit in Jerez for the first test of next year.
“It will be nice to make my ‘official’ debut as a Formula 1 driver in my home country!”
Team boss Franz Tost has welcomed the Spaniard’s signing, believing that while his line-up may be young, they have what it takes.
“With Carlos Sainz joining Max Verstappen in our driver line-up next year, we continue the Toro Rosso tradition of providing youngsters from the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme with their first steps in Formula 1.
“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 in the STR8. He really surprised me and his engineers that day, with his mature approach and his speed.”