While speculation suggested that the announcement would come on Monday, Toro Rosso have finally committed to an individual from their vast pool of promising youngsters – Formula Renault 3.5 Champion, Carlos Sainz Jr, has snapped up the seat alongside boy-wonder Max Verstappen for 2015. An inexperienced line up, but undoubtedly an exciting one.
JEV Out, Jr In
The biggest flaw with Dr Helmut Marko’s “School of Hard Knocks” is the mere fact that it produces too much world-class talent. As such, the Toro Rosso seats have become some of the most highly contested in the paddock. After 17-year-old Max Verstappen exploded onto the scene and secured one of the seats, a teammate to the Dutchman was required when Daniil Kvyat received the call from the big team, who wanted his services for 2015 and beyond. With Jean-Eric Vergne, Alex Lynn and Carlos Sainz Jr all in the running for the vacancy, speculation has been rife.
Speculation that was brought to an end today, as FR3.5 Champion and son of former World Rally Champion, Carlos Sainz Jr has earned the right to call himself a Formula 1 driver. Like Kevin Magnussen before him, Carlos has proved that winning the FR3.5 title can be an excellent launch pad into the pinnacle of the sport.
His credentials are there for all to see and he is fully deserving of his chance in F1. However, Toro Rosso’s decision and Sainz’s début season will be overshadowed by his unfortunate predecessor, Jean-Eric Vergne – the man who most people agree should be on the grid, with many suggesting that the injustice lies in the fact that he will not be donning Red Bull Racing overalls in 2015. JEV has become the latest refugee of the Red Bull programme and is perhaps the strongest of the ever-growing club. Remember, this is a man who was only narrowly defeated by Daniel Ricciardo, who has arguably forced a four-time World Champion out of his own team.
However, it is 20-year-old Sanz Jr who will partner 17-year-old Max Verstappen in 2015. A Vergne and Verstappen partnership would have provided a pleasing balance of youth and (albeit relative) experience. Vergne could have been the perfect yardstick, by which Verstappen could be judged by. Ultimately, Toro Rosso have opted for total inexperience, yet the fact that they have chose an exciting duo jam-packed with potential and crammed full of impressive credentials, means that the disappointment of Vergne’s departure is somewhat nullified. I am looking forward to seeing what Sainz Jr can bring to the table.