(Toro Rosso via Twitter)
It's official another piece of the 2015 Formula One driver jigsaw puzzle has been completed.
Scuderia Toro Rosso have confirmed that Carlos Sainz Jr will make his Formula One race debut with next season alongside fellow F1 newcomer Max Verstappen.
The news comes after the Spaniard drove the Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 on the opening day of the end of season Abu Dhabi F1 test on Tuesday.
Sainz Jr has had an impressive motor racing career winning the 2014 Formula Renault 2.5 Series. Speaking about the news the Spaniard stated:
'I am really happy to have landed the drive with Scuderia Toro Rosso. Ever since I have been part of Red Bull's Young Driver Programme, this has been my aim and I want to thank Red Bull for putting their faith in me. I have had a very successful season in World Series by Renault this year and now I am looking forward to taking the step up to Formula 1.
I tested for a day with Toro Rosso last year and I liked the atmosphere in the team. In the next few months I will be working hard on my preparation, ready to get in the cockpit in Jerez for the first test of next year. It will be nice to make my "official" debut as a Formula 1 driver in my home country!'
Scuderia Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost stated:
'With Carlos Sainz joining Max Verstappen in our driver line-up next year, we continue the Toro Rosso tradition of providing youngsters from the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme with their first steps in Formula 1.
I have watched Carlos progress through the junior categories, always improving as he moved higher up the ladder, culminating in a well-deserved win in this year's World Series. However, I also remember the day's testing he did with us at Silverstone in 2013 in the STR8. He really surprised me and his engineers that day, with his mature approach and his speed.'
Sainz Jr replacing Jean Eric Vergne who confirmed earlier this week that he would no longer drive for the Italian team in 2015.
Sainz Jr becomes the second Spanish driver on the Formula One grid for 2015 as Fernando Alonso looks set to join McLaren Honda for next season having left Scuderia Ferrari following last weekend's season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Following the confirmation of the Toro Rosso line up for 2015 here is the state of play:
2015 Formula One Driver Line-Ups
Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team
Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team
Williams Martini Racing Team
Fernando Alonso (TBC)
Possible (Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen)
Sahara Force India Formula One Team
Scuderia Toro Rosso
Carlos Sainz Jr
Lotus F1 Team
Marussia F1 Team
Sauber F1 Team
Caterham F1 Team
© Ben Johnston 2014