Toro Rosso's new recruit has announced he no longer wants to be called 'Junior'. During his rise to formula one, culminating in this year's Formula Renault 3.5 title, the 20-year-old Spaniard has been known as Carlos Sainz jr. But now, according to Italy's Tuttosport, he said: "I do not want to be compared to my father."
Sainz is referring to his father and namesake, the world rally legend and also winner of the fabled Dakar rally. "As a child when I was racing in karts I realised how important my father's name was in the world of motor sport and so I fought hard to make my own way. It would be nice to be called just Carlos Sainz. I would understand if I was a rally driver but since I am in formula one now I do not see the reason."
However, Sainz said he has carved his path to the F1 paddock with the ever-present support of his father, and he said one day winning the title would give the 52-year-old Sainz "the greatest joy". He also said he is close to Spain's most famous F1 driver, Fernando Alonso. "He has always spoken well of me to the media and to teams," said 20-year-old Sainz. "I'll be grateful for all of my life for how he has treated and supported me."
Sainz's new challenge is to go head-to-head in 2015 with another famous son, Max Verstappen, who has already spent considerable time with Toro Rosso, even driving on Friday mornings at the tail end of last season. Asked by El Mundo Deportivo if he might be able to test a two-year-old F1 car before the official tests next February, Sainz answered: "I don't think so."
"In this sense I may be a little disadvantaged so I will need to work hard. But I don't think it means anything because in March nobody will remember what happened before. He has done more miles than me and already has a team of engineers, while my advantage is that I have been competing for more years than him. He (Verstappen) is very good," Sainz added, "but I'll be ready for the first race and will try to beat him."
Finally, Sainz revealed that he has picked the number 55 to race throughout his F1 career. "Since my childhood I have had success with number 5," he said, "but Vettel has this number." Sainz explained that the final 'S' in his first name and the first 'S' in his surname resembles the number 55. (GMM)