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Posted: Aug 21, 2018 8:05 PM
Updated: Aug 21, 2018 8:05 PM

Spanish Formula One driver Carlos Sainz will join McLaren from Renault next season to replace countryman Fernando Alonso, who announced his retirement earlier this week.

Sainz started his F1 career with Toro Rosso in 2015, before moving to Renault midway through the 2017 season.

He's currently 11th in the drivers standings after 12 races, his best result a fifth place finish in Azerbaijan in April.

"I've been a McLaren fan for as long as I can remember," said 23-year-old Sainz in a statement.

"It's a great name in the sport with an incredible heritage, and the list of drivers that have raced for McLaren over the years are among the heroes of Formula One.

"Fernando is of course one of them, so it's particularly special that I'll be taking his seat as part of the next generation of Spanish racing drivers behind the wheel of a McLaren."

READ: Spanish star Fernando Alonso to leave Formula One

READ: Daniel Ricciardo to join Renault from Red Bull

Alonso announced Tuesday that he would be leaving F1 at the end of a storied career that's included two world titles and 32 race wins.

The multi-year deal to replace the Spaniard will see Sainz team up with Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne to form one of the youngest pairings on the grid.

"Carlos brings with him the perfect blend of youth and experience," said McLaren boss Zak Brown.

"Although he's just 23, he'll be starting his fifth season in the sport with us and will bring with him a huge amount of racing experience, both in Formula One and with our partner Renault.

"We've been assessing him for some time now and rate him very highly among the next generation of young talent emerging through the ranks in Formula One."

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Sainz, whose father was a distinguished rally driver, was previously contracted to Red Bull and has been on loan at Renault for the past year.

Filling the gap Sainz has left at Renault will be Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who announced two weeks ago that he will be leaving Red Bull at the end of the season.

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