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Carlos Sainz Jr

The lowdown on Carlos Sainz Jr

Lee McKenzie's view

"Carlos is known as chilli among his friend because he's hot! He always has a chilli pepper logo on his car and his cap. 

"As the son of a fabulous world rally champion, he's grown up in motorsport and has the pedigree. There are great pictures of him when he was a teeny-tiny thing, getting his photo taken with Fernando Alonso. The fellow Spaniard has become his friend and his mentor and they spend a lot of time together. 

"Carlos is from Madrid but trains in Mallorca where he is also friends with tennis ace Rafael Nadal."

2017: 9th. Born: 1/9/1994.

His rise in F1 may have been overshadowed by that of fellow Red Bull prodigy Max Verstappen, but Carlos Sainz Jr has a similarly rich racing pedigree.

While Verstappen’s dad was an F1 driver, the Spaniard is the son of two-time world rally champion Carlos Sainz.

He opted for the thrill of the race track rather than gravel roads, starting out at the karting circuit owned by his father.

With Red Bull backing, Sainz steadily climbed the junior ladder, dominating the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 to earn himself a seat at Toro Rosso for the following year.

A massive accident at Sochi aside, Sainz was hugely impressive in his rookie campaign and finished 15th -- Verstappen was 12th.

The Dutch teen was promoted to the senior Red Bull team after just four races in 2016, while Daniil Kvyat dropped down to partner Sainz.

Sainz generally out-performed the Russian to finish 12th overall, and after his ninth top-10 finish of 2017 -- a career-best fourth-placing in Singapore -- Renault announced plans to sign him on loan for 2018.

That move was brought forward as he replaced Jolyon Palmer until the end of the season, finishing seventh on debut in Texas but then suffering two retirements in the final three races.

Again racing alongside Nico Hulkenberg in 2018, he will be looking to establish his own legacy in the sport as Renault too aim to return to the upper end of the grid.