Carlos Sainz’s Best Moments In F1

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Carlos Sainz is one of the best and most experienced drivers on the current Formula 1 grid. The Spaniard debuted in 2015 with Toro Rosso and since then has established himself as one of the most regular and prudent drivers on the grid, always a guarantee of good results.

Sainz is a driver who has made himself in the category, proving over time to be one of the best and having great performances. After two and a half seasons with Toro Rosso, the Spaniard signed for Renault, where he drove until the end of 2018.

In 2019 and 2020, Sainz drove for McLaren, one of the most competitive teams in the midfield, where he was able to shine with some great performances, getting the team’s first podium since 2014. His good performance at McLaren earned him a seat for Ferrari in 2021, thus having a winning car for the first time, getting many podiums, and his first victory at the 2022 British GP.

Thus, the Spaniard has achieved 1 victory, 15 podiums, and 3 pole positions, and is world champion material. Let’s take a look at his best moments in Formula 1.

1. Points In Debut Race – 2015 Australian GP

Having belonged to Red Bull’s young driver program for years and won the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2014, Carlos Sainz was promoted in 2015 to Formula 1 with the Toro Rosso team alongside another young talent, Max Verstappen.

The Spaniard already left a good feeling on his first weekend in Formula 1. On Saturday, Sainz entered the Q3 and was in a great eighth position, while his teammate Verstappen was twelfth. In the race, Sainz was consistent and stayed mainly within the point positions, holding off attacks from the faster cars behind.

In his first pit stop, he had a problem with one of his tires, which made him lose more than 20 seconds and many positions. However, Sainz could continue with his excellent pace, overtaking some positions and finishing in a fantastic ninth position, thus completing an excellent debut race.

2. Making His Way Through The Rain – 2016 Brazilian GP

For the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix, Sainz qualified in a discreet fifteenth position behind teammate Daniil Kvyat, and for the race, he was looking to get into the points. On Sunday, it was raining heavily, and visibility was significantly reduced, so the race started behind the Safety Car until the start on lap 8.

After a few laps of the race, a crash by Marcus Ericsson brought the Safety Car out again, and immediately after that, a crash by Kimi Raikkonen caused a red flag, and there was another red flag due to bad weather.

However, the race resumed 25 minutes later, and it became a race of survival. Sainz had completed some overtakes on track and others due to accidents and was already in the points. During the last stages of the race, he fought with Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo. Still, the Spaniard overtook them and finished in an incredible sixth position without making a single mistake.

3. Fantastic P4 With Toro Rosso – 2017 Singapore GP

Midway through the 2017 season, Renault announced that its driver, Jolyon Palmer, would not return to driving from the United States Grand Prix onwards due to his poor performance. Renault confirmed that Carlos Sainz would be his replacement from that race onwards, and the Spaniard wanted to finish his last races with Toro Rosso strong.

His best weekend of the year was the Singapore Grand Prix. Sainz qualified in tenth position, which was pretty good for his midfield Toro Rosso, and was looking to finish inside the points. On Sunday, the race started in the rain, with some drivers running full wet tires while others ran intermediates.

Sainz moved up one position after a bumpy start, in which the race leaders collided. Subsequently, the track was drying gradually, and the drivers who started with full wets were stopping. Sainz started with intermediates, so he did not have to make a pit stop, climbing up to the fourth position.

A few laps later, the track had completely dried out, and the drivers stopped to put slicks on. Sainz spent most of the race in fifth position, but after Nico Hulkenberg’s retirement, he moved up to fourth, fending off Perez’s attacks during the final laps and achieving a great result with a midfield Toro Rosso.

4. Great First Race With Renault – 2017 United States GP

In his first race with Renault, Carlos Sainz had a great pace with an unfamiliar car, proving to be a very versatile driver with a remarkable ability to adapt. The Spaniard qualified eighth, well ahead of the fifteenth position of his new teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, who had been with the team all year.

Due to a penalty for one of the drivers in front of him, Sainz started Sunday’s race from seventh position. In the race, the Spaniard spent most of the time between sixth and seventh position. On lap 34, he completed a magnificent overtake on Perez for seventh position, where he finished, scoring good points in his debut race with Renault.

5. From P20 To Podium – 2019 Brazilian GP

After a promising 2018 season with Renault, in which Sainz was at the height of his teammate Nico Hulkenberg, the Spaniard signed in 2019 for McLaren, the season where he shone the most so far, leading the midfield.

His best weekend was in the Brazilian Grand Prix, which did not start well at all. In qualifying, the Spaniard suffered an engine problem and could not complete any laps, which meant he would start from the last position on Sunday.

On Sunday, Sainz had a new power unit, and the Spaniard was ready to give his all to move up the field. Sainz staged an impressive comeback, completing overtake after overtake, with some good moves like the one on Perez on the inside of Turn 1. On lap 22, the Spaniard was already in the points.

With 20 laps to go, Sainz was seventh. After the collision between the two Ferraris, he moved to fifth position. He took advantage of the collision between Alex Albon and Lewis Hamilton on the penultimate lap to move up one more place and cross the finish line fourth. After the end of the race, the FIA penalized the Briton with 5 seconds so Sainz could climb the podium after an incredible comeback, being the first of his career.

This podium finish was the team’s first since the 2014 Australian Grand Prix.

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6. P2 Amid Chaos – 2020 Italian GP

In 2020, Sainz performed just as well as in 2019, leading the team and completing solid performances. His second podium with McLaren came at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, a chaotic race that shook the grid order.

The Spaniard completed a great qualifying, finishing third, just behind Mercedes. On Sunday, Sainz made a great start, overtaking Valtteri Bottas and moving up to second, while teammate Lando Norris moved up to third.

On lap 22, there was a Safety Car, and both McLarens pitted a lap later than they should have, losing many positions and placing seventh and eighth. A few laps later, a red flag was due to Charles Leclerc’s accident. At the restart, Sainz was fifth and moved up one position due to a stop-and-go by Hamilton.

After that, Sainz overtook Alfa Romeos, who was so high up due to the previous Safety Car chaos, and began pursuing the unexpected leader, Pierre Gasly, who benefited from the Safety Car period. Sainz was getting closer and closer to Gasly, and on the last lap, he was just behind him, but finally, he could not overtake him, achieving a great P2 in a chaotic race.

7. From P7 To The Lead In A Busy Start – 2020 Portuguese GP

The COVID-19 pandemic brought significant changes to the Formula 1 calendar in 2020, with some new Grands Prix, such as the Portuguese GP, hosted at the Portimao circuit. Sainz qualified seventh, just ahead of teammate Lando Norris, in a very close qualifying session, with only five-tenths of a second difference between fourth and eighth.

In the race, Sainz had some incredible opening laps. The Spaniard made a good start, overtaking two positions after the first corner. After that, he took advantage of Max Verstappen’s and Sergio Perez’s touch to move up one place.

After the touch, Verstappen lost some rhythm after the contact, and Sainz overtook him on the outside and immediately overtook Hamilton on the outside while some raindrops were falling, making the track very slippery.

The rain was getting heavier and heavier, and on the second lap, Sainz overtook the race leader, Valtteri Bottas, who was suffering with the conditions, thus leading a race for the second time this season. The Spaniard eventually finished sixth.

8. Great Performance For McLaren – 2020 Abu Dhabi GP

For the final race of the 2020 season, McLaren and Racing Point were competing for third place in the constructors’ championship, and their drivers were looking for a good performance. Sainz qualified sixth, while Lando Norris was fourth, and only one of the Racing Point drivers made it through to Q3.

In the race, Sainz remained in sixth position during the first laps until a Virtual Safety Car, caused by an engine failure of Sergio Perez, one of the Racing Point drivers, caused him to lose several positions, as McLaren made a double pit stop, thus dropping to ninth position.

However, over the next few laps, Sainz overtook both Ferraris and then Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault after he pitted, finishing sixth, just behind Norris, to move McLaren up to third in the constructors’ championship in his last race for the team.

9. First Podium With Ferrari – 2021 Monaco GP

Sainz’s strong performance during his two seasons at McLaren earned him a seat at Ferrari in 2021, replacing four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who left to join Aston Martin’s new Formula 1 project.

2021 was not a particularly competitive year for Ferrari, but Sainz and his new teammate, Charles Leclerc, gave the best of the car to achieve good results. Sainz’s first podium with Ferrari came at the Monaco Grand Prix. The Spaniard qualified in fourth position, while Leclerc took the pole position, although luck would change sides on Sunday.

Leclerc could not start the race due to an accident during qualifying, which meant Sainz would start from the third position. The Spaniard spent the race’s early stages in third position until Bottas’ retirement due to his catastrophic pit stop moving him up one place.

From then on, Sainz did not give up the second place, keeping the distance with both the race leader, Verstappen, and the third, Lando Norris, thus achieving a fantastic second position, being his first podium with Ferrari and the first of the team during the season.

10. Starting 2022 In Style – 2022 Bahrain GP

With the new regulations for 2022, Ferrari made a big qualitative leap in the new season, starting very strong. In the first Grand Prix, Leclerc took pole position, while Sainz was beaten at the last moment by Verstappen to finish third, by just 6 thousandths of a second.

In the race, both Leclerc and Sainz mostly remained in the same positions. After a Safety Car during the final laps, Verstappen had an engine problem, so Sainz overtook the Dutchman and moved into second behind Leclerc.

Thus, the Ferraris completed an unbeatable first weekend, achieving a 1-2. With this second position, Sainz equaled his best race finish with the team so far.

11. The Best In The Sprint Race – 2022 Emilia Romagna

The 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix featured a sprint race, so Friday was qualifying, Saturday the sprint race, and Sunday the actual race.

In qualifying, Sainz went through to Q3, but in the last moments of Q2, he had an accident that destroyed the suspension, among other things, so he could not compete in the last session and would start tenth in the sprint race.

On Saturday, Sainz had a great sprint race, overtaking two positions on the first lap and continuing his comeback during the following laps. On lap 7, he completed a fantastic overtake on the outside over Fernando Alonso.

On lap 12, he caught up with Kevin Magnussen’s Haas. He overtook him in a similar way to Alonso. 2 laps later, he did the same with Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren and later with the other McLaren, Norris’, to finally cross the finish line in fourth position, being the best of the sprint race.

All this work was to no avail on Sunday, as an accident at the first chicane took him out, but the Spaniard showed that he was at a high level.

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12. First Pole Position & Win – 2022 British GP

The first half of the 2022 season was starting well for Sainz, scoring 4 podiums and showing a competitive level. However, he had yet to achieve a pole position or victory in one of the most competitive cars on the grid. This changed at the British Grand Prix, the perfect weekend for Sainz.

Qualifying was held in the rain, and the drivers used the intermediate tires on a very slippery track with numerous accidents and spins. With this bad weather, Sainz completed an incredible lap, achieving the first pole position of his career.

In the race, Sainz lost the first position at the start, but the chaos of the first lap caused a red flag, and at the restart, the Spaniard regained the lead. Sainz spent the first few laps of the race keeping Verstappen behind until he made a mistake and was overtaken on lap 10.

2 laps later, Verstappen had a puncture, and Sainz regained the lead. After that, the team ordered Sainz to let Leclerc pass him, as he had more pace and Hamilton was very fast behind.

However, with 13 laps to go, there was a Safety Car, and Sainz made a pit stop to change tires while Leclerc stayed out. Thus, when the Safety Car period ended, Sainz, with fresher tires, overtook the Monegasque to take the first victory of his career in a chaotic race. In his 150th race, it was the second-longest wait for a driver to achieve his maiden win, behind only Sergio Perez.

13. Comeback Despite Poor Strategy – 2022 French GP

For the 2022 French Grand Prix, Sainz had a penalty for exceeding his quota of power unit elements, which meant he would start at the back of the grid. Thus, in qualifying, he helped Leclerc to get the pole position, offering his slipstream. The Spaniard completed a remarkable comeback in the race, overtaking numerous cars on the track.

On lap 6, the Ferrari driver was already close to the points, climbing to the thirteenth position. On lap 17, he was already ninth, and now he had the fastest cars to overtake. After the accident that caused Leclerc to retire, he moved up one position and completed some excellent overtaking moves on track.

In the following laps, Sainz overtook both McLaren’s and Fernando Alonso’s Alpine to move up to fifth. On lap 30, the Spaniard completed a great move around the outside on George Russell to take fourth place, and a few laps later, he had a great battle with Sergio Perez, in which they were side by side, and took third place.

A strange Ferrari strategy made him stop with 10 laps to go, so he dropped to ninth position, but after that, Sainz overtook again the drivers he had already overtook to be in a fantastic fifth position. The Spaniard did everything in his power to get a good result.

14. Making His Way Up The Grid – 2022 Italian GP

One of the strongest weekends of the season for Sainz was the Italian Grand Prix. The Spaniard qualified third, but another penalty for exceeding his quota of power unit elements dropped him to the back of the grid once again.

As in the French Grand Prix, Sainz did not give up, and on Sunday, he completed a fantastic performance, making his way up the grid.

By lap 6, Sainz had overtaken the slower cars and was in the points. However, the Spaniard continued much faster than the rest of the field, completing overtake after overtake until he reached the fourth position.

Sainz began his pursuit of George Russell during the last laps of the race and was getting closer and closer, but a Safety Car that lasted until the last lap prevented him from catching up and overtaking him. But otherwise, he could have been on the podium.

15. Podium After Comeback – 2022 Sao Paulo GP

The 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix weekend was complicated for Sainz, but his strong performance allowed him to achieve a great result. Sainz qualified fifth for the sprint race, and on Saturday, he completed an excellent performance, overtaking some of the fastest cars, such as Verstappen, to reach second position.

On Sunday, however, he would start from the seventh position due to a penalty. Nevertheless, the Spaniard, who already knew what it was like to move up the grid, did not break under the pressure and delivered a good result.

Sainz survived the chaos of the first laps, which caused a Safety Car. After the restart, an incident between Verstappen and Hamilton and later an accident between Leclerc and Norris moved him to the fourth position.

Sainz overtook Norris to move up to third, a position he lost when pitted. However, during the last laps, he fought with Sergio Perez for the podium, completing a fantastic overtake on the Mexican to materialize a remarkable comeback.


Carlos Sainz is one of the best drivers on the grid. The Spaniard has proven to adapt quickly to any car and always gets the best out of it, being a consistent driver and guaranteeing good results who does not usually have accidents.

As we have seen today, Sainz is in great shape, and his 2023 promises a lot.