Carlos Sainz finished as best of the rest in 2019 and recorded his first podium finish in his best year so far in Formula 1. Here are all the facts and statistics from Carlos Sainz’s 2019 season!
Carlos Sainz was, for some, the star of the 2019 season. After passing from Toro Rosso to Renault to McLaren in the space of just over a year, it feels that the Spaniard has found a more permanent home at the latter team. Despite being out-qualified by his rookie team-mate over the course of the year (in the closest qualifying battle of any team) the Spaniard emerged as a team leader, securing 66% of McLaren’s points.
After fending off Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon for an unlikely sixth in the Drivers’ Championship, Sainz beat his previous best points tally from 2017 by 42 points. He scored on thirteen occasions over the course of the year, with his single point in Abu Dhabi – a result of overtaking Nico Hulkenberg on the final lap – being the most important, and securing him the sixth place. Sainz’s rise through the championship order is all the more impressive, given that he failed to score in any of the first three races of the year and completed the fourth-fewest laps of any driver during the season.
The biggest points haul of his career to date came at the Brazilian Grand Prix, where he finished in the top three following a post-race penalty for Lewis Hamilton. Although he wasn’t present for the podium celebrations, he and the team emerged on the rostrum later in the evening to celebrate McLaren’s first podium in over five years.
In the last eleven races, Sainz qualified best of the rest eight times and finished in the top six five times. If McLaren’s rate of development can continue, Carlos Sainz could become an even more regular top six finisher in 2020.
A STATISTIC FOR EVERY GRAND PRIX
Australia: Until the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz had a 100% points-scoring record at the Albert Park circuit. That came to an end as he became the first retirement of the 2019 season – the first time since 2009 that a McLaren driver has taken that unwanted honour.
Bahrain: Carlos Sainz was one of four drivers to retire from the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix. Strangely, all three drivers who retired in Australia also retired in Bahrain.
China: Carlos Sainz finished in fourteenth position at the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix, recording his worst Shanghai result. It’s the first time the Spaniard has finished in the same position as he started since the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix.
Azerbaijan: With seventh place in the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz scored for the first time in 2019. He jumped up six places in the Drivers’ Championship as a result, the equal-most places gained by a driver following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Sergio Perez was the other driver to also gain six places in the championship order. Sainz’s seventh place made him the 99th different driver to have scored points with three different constructors in F1 history.
Spain: Carlos Sainz failed to reach Q3 for only the second time at his home race at the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix. With thirteenth, he recorded his worst qualifying performance so far at the track, his previous worst being twelfth in 2017. It was the first time he had been beaten by a team-mate in qualifying at the circuit. The Spaniard maintained his 100% points record in the race though.
Monaco: At the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz maintained his 100% Q3 appearance rate and 100% points-scoring rate at the Monte Carlo circuit. He remains unbeaten by a team-mate on Saturdays at the track. He equalled his best Monaco result of sixth, recording the first of an eventual eight top six finishes in 2019.
Canada: With both Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris reaching Q3, the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix was the first time both McLaren drivers have appeared in the final part of qualifying in Montreal since 2012. Both drivers failed to score, with Sainz finishing eleventh, making this the team’s fifth consecutive visit to the track without picking up a point.
France: Carlos Sainz qualified sixth for the 2019 French Grand Prix. It was his best qualifying result since qualifying fifth for the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Austria: The 2019 Austrian Grand Prix marked the first time all of the top nine on the grid at the event finished the race. All of the top nine on the grid also scored points. The only other points scorer was Carlos Sainz, who started on the back row of the grid.
Britain: With sixth place in the 2019 British Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz recorded McLaren’s best result at Silverstone since 2014. Over the first ten races of the season, Sainz gained a total of 27 positions from his starting places. He was one of three drivers to have not lost a position in every race he had finished up to that point in the season.
Germany: Qualifying in seventh for the 2019 German Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz became the first McLaren driver to reach Q3 at Hockenheim since Kevin Magnussen in 2014. He went on to finish fifth, recording the third top five finish of his career.
Hungary: With fifth place in the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz recorded consecutive top five finishes for the first time. He had recorded three other top five finishes up to that point: fourth in the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix, and fifth in the 2018 Azerbaijan and 2019 German Grands Prix.
Belgium: Neither Carlos Sainz nor Lando Norris finished the Belgian Grand Prix. This was, therefore, the first race in which McLaren have recorded a double DNF since the 2017 Italian Grand Prix.
Italy: Carlos Sainz recorded McLaren’s fourth Monza retirement in three years at the 2019 Italian Grand Prix.
Singapore: Though Carlos Sainz maintained his 100% finish rate at the Singapore Grand Prix, 2019 marked only the second time that he has failed to score at the Marina Bay Circuit.
Russia: At this point in the 2019 season, as McLaren surpassed 100 points scored, Sainz alone had scored four more points than both of McLaren’s drivers did combined in the previous season.
Japan: With an impressive drive to fifth place for Carlos Sainz in the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix, McLaren recorded their first points at Suzuka since Jenson Button also finished fifth in 2014.
Mexico: Carlos Sainz continued a strange trend at the Mexico Grand Prix. He has qualified one position further up than in the previous season on every visit to the track so far. He qualified 11th in 2015, 10th in 2016, 9th in 2017, 8th in 2018 and 7th in 2019!
USA: In 100th race appearance, Carlos Sainz maintained his 100% points scoring record at COTA. With eighth place, the 2019 United States Grand Prix marked his worst result so far at the circuit.
Brazil: Carlos Sainz finished on the podium for the first time in his career at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix. Sainz’s podium was the 100th top three finish for a Spanish driver. It was also the first podium for a Spaniard since Fernando Alonso finished as runner-up in the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix. Sainz finished in the top five for the sixth time in his career. On both occasions that Sainz has finished in the top four, both Ferrari drivers have retired from the race. The last time he did so was at the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix. Sainz became the first driver to score points having started from 20th at Interlagos. His third place beats the previous best result of seventh from that grid slot at this circuit by Marc Surer in 1980. It also beats the record for the furthest back grid position that a podium finish has come from at the track. The previous record was seventeenth, which is where Lewis Hamilton started from before finishing third at the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Abu Dhabi: Carlos Sainz recorded his best Abu Dhabi qualifying position at the Yas Marina Circuit in 2019. His seventh place beat his previous best Saturday result of tenth.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.