Sainz in 2014.
|Born||12 April 1962|
|World Rally Championship record|
|Co-driver|| Luis Moya|
|Teams||Ford, Toyota, Lancia, Subaru, Citroën|
|Championships||2 (1990, 1992)|
|First rally||1987 Rally Portugal|
|First win||1990 Acropolis Rally|
|Last win||2004 Rally Argentina|
|Last rally||2005 Acropolis Rally|
Carlos Sainz Cenamor (born 12 April 1962 in Madrid, Spain) is a Spanish rally driver. He won the World Rally Championship drivers' title with Toyota in 1990 and 1992, and finished runner-up four times. Constructors' world champions to have benefited from Sainz are Subaru (1995), Toyota (1999) and Citroën (2003, 2004 and 2005). In the 2018 season he was one of the official drivers of the Team Peugeot Total. He received the Princess of Asturias Sports Award in 2020.
Nicknamed El Matador, Sainz previously held the WRC record for most career starts until Finnish co-driver Miikka Anttila broke the record. He was also the first non-Nordic driver to win the 1000 Lakes Rally in Finland. He came close to repeating the feat at the Swedish Rally finishing second four times and third twice. Besides WRC successes, he has won the Dakar Rally (2010, 2018, 2020), the Race of Champions (1997) and the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (1990). His co-drivers were Antonio Boto, Luís Moya, Marc Martí and Lucas Cruz.
His son, Carlos Sainz Jr., born on 1 September 1994, is also a professional racing driver, currently competing for McLaren in Formula One. He also has an older brother named Antonio Sainz, born on December 10, 1957,  who was also a rally driver. 
Before moving into motorsport, multi talented Sainz played football and squash. As a teenager, Real Madrid gave him a trial and in squash he was the Spanish champion at the age of 16. He got his first touch of motorsport in Formula Ford while still playing squash and football. Before dedicating himself to motorsport, Sainz studied law up to the second scheduled cycle.
Early career (1980–1988)
Ford gave him his first World Rally championship appearances during the 1987 season. He finished seventh in the Tour de Corse and eighth on the RAC Rally. He remained with Ford for the following season, now co-driven by Luis Moya, who remained his regular co-driver for the next fifteen years. He finished fifth twice, in the Tour de Corse and the Rallye Sanremo, and seventh on an icy RAC Rally.
Ford were an increasingly minor player in the World Rally Championship, with the rear-wheel-drive Sierra uncompetitive against the four-wheel-drive cars, and struggled to retain ambitious and talented young drivers such as Sainz and his teammate in 1988, Didier Auriol. Both departed the team for 1989; Auriol to Lancia and Sainz to Toyota Team Europe, the Japanese marque's rallying arm operating in Cologne, Germany.
Despite all previous rallying Toyota Celicas having only ever looked a competitive prospect on highly specialized endurance rallies such as the Safari Rally, the new combination of Toyota and Sainz rapidly rose in competitiveness. In the 1989 season, Sainz started with four retirements but then finished on the podium in three rallies in a row. His teammate, by then two-time world champion Juha Kankkunen, also gave the Celica GT-Four ST165 its debut win at the inaugural Rally Australia. Sainz would almost certainly have won his first World Championship Rally on the final event of the season, the RAC Rally, but for mechanical failure in the final stages, which relegated him to second.
In the 1990 season, Sainz drove his GT-Four to victory at the Acropolis Rally, at the Rally New Zealand, at the 1000 Lakes Rally, as the first non-Nordic driver, and at the RAC Rally, claiming his first world drivers' title, ahead of Lancia's Didier Auriol and Kankkunen, ending the Italian marque's domination of the drivers' world championship since the advent of the Group A era of the sport in 1987.
In 1991, Sainz narrowly failed to defend his title against a resurgent Lancia-mounted Kankkunen, his efforts capped by a dramatic roll of his Celica in Australia which left him in a neckbrace. Both Sainz and Kankkunen took five wins, the first time in the history of the WRC that two drivers had managed such win tally during one season. Sainz led Kankkunen by one point going into the final round of the season, the RAC Rally, where Kankkunen took his third title by winning ahead of Kenneth Eriksson and Sainz. Kankkunen's and Sainz's point totals, 150 and 143, both broke the record set by Sainz a year earlier (140).
Aboard the new ST185 Toyota Celica in the 1992 season, in a year that would prove the last for the foreseeable future for Lancia, Sainz managed to score memorable victories on the Safari Rally and on his home asphalt round, the Rally Catalunya. The title fight again went down to the wire, and this time in a three-way battle; before the RAC, Sainz led Kankkunen by two points and Auriol, who had taken a record six wins during the season, by three points. Sainz's victory ahead of Ari Vatanen and Kankkunen, combined with Auriol's retirement, confirmed the title in favour of the Spaniard.
A limited number of 440 Celica GT-Four ST185s, carrying his name on a plaque in the vehicle, and with decals on the outside, were sold in the United Kingdom in 1992 in an attempt to capitalise on Sainz's two championship successes with the works team. These were the part of the 5,000 units of ST185 for WRC homologation. It is said that Sainz still keeps a Celica GT-Four given to him by Toyota, which he drives to Real Madrid games at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
Despite winning the world title Sainz left Toyota at the end of 1992, mainly because for the 1993 season the team was to be sponsored by Castrol, a rival to Sainz's personal sponsor, Repsol. Sainz therefore moved to the private but Lancia-backed Jolly Club. Lancia had won the manufacturers' championship for the previous six years, but the Delta was an ageing design and technical developments during the season were minor, despite assurances given to Sainz that development would continue. The Delta therefore lost ground to newer cars, and became less and less competitive as 1993 wore on. Sainz's only podium finish was his second place at the Acropolis Rally. He finished second on the San Remo Rally, but he and his teammate were later disqualified for using illegal fuel.  He finished eighth in the drivers' championship, which was won by Toyota driver Juha Kankkunen. Lancia withdrew from the sport altogether at the end of the season.
Sainz then chose to drive for the then fledgling Subaru World Rally Team in 1994, where he replaced Ari Vatanen. Sainz's experience, perfectionism and abilities as a development driver played a vital role in developing the then-new Impreza to the point where it could mount a sustained challenge to Toyota and Ford. Indeed, in the hands of Sainz and Colin McRae the Subarus were frequently faster than the Fords during the season. Toyota won the manufacturers' title, but the drivers' championship was only settled on the final round, with Didier Auriol winning ahead of Sainz. In the 1995 season, he won the Monte Carlo Rally, the Rally Portugal and the Rally Catalunya. At this latter event he was trailing his teammate Colin McRae until the team ordered the Scotsman to slow down and allow Sainz to win, which led to a dispute between the drivers. Nevertheless, they were tied for the lead in the drivers' world championship going into the season-ending RAC Rally. McRae won his home event 36 seconds ahead of Sainz, despite losing time with mechanical difficulties that at one stage had put him two minutes behind. Subaru secured their first manufacturers' title with a triple win as the team's second young Briton, Richard Burns, finished third. Sainz was later to join McRae at both Ford and Citroën.
Return to Ford (1996–1997)
Sainz responded by rejoining Ford for the 1996 season. He spent two seasons with the squad, aboard the Ford Escort RS Cosworth and later, the Escort World Rally Car. In 1996, he won the inaugural Rally Indonesia and with five other podium finishes to his name, he took third place in the drivers' world championship, behind Mitsubishi's Tommi Mäkinen and Subaru's McRae. In the 1997 season, he again won the Indonesian round, along with the Acropolis Rally, but again lost the title fight to Mäkinen and McRae. However, he won the Race of Champions at the end of 1997.
Return to Toyota (1998–1999)
Sainz then departed, once again, for Toyota, partnering Didier Auriol and helping to further the Corolla World Rally Car project that had been instituted in 1997, as part of the Cologne recovery from the embarrassment of exclusion from the world championship on the penultimate round of the 1995 season.
Sainz won on his first outing for them, on the 1998 season opener Monte Carlo Rally, and later in the season, added a victory in New Zealand. The seemingly terminal blow to title rival Tommi Mäkinen's chances was his retirement on the first day of the final event of the year, the Rally Great Britain, which gave the initiative to Sainz, who now only had to finish fourth in order to ensure the title. However, just 300 metres from the finish of the very last stage, he too was forced to retire from the needed fourth place with a mechanical problem. As a result, both Sainz and Toyota gifted their respective titles to rivals Mäkinen and Mitsubishi Ralliart.
A subdued season followed for Sainz in 1999, although it did at least culminate in a departing manufacturers' title for Toyota, by now fostering alternative interests in Formula One. Sainz took a total of eight podiums, but no wins, and finished fifth in the drivers' standings, behind his third-placed teammate Auriol who had taken his only win of the season at the inaugural China Rally.
Second return to Ford (2000–2002)
This was the precursor of another, three-year stint with Ford, again alongside McRae, beginning with the 2000 season. He won the inaugural edition of the Cyprus round of the world championship, and finished third in the drivers' points standings.
Sainz failed to score a victory on any rally during the 2001 season, but with five podiums and four other point-scoring finishes, he managed to keep himself in the title fight throughout the very closely contested season, eventually finishing sixth in the standings, only eleven points adrift of the champion, Subaru's Richard Burns. Meanwhile, teammate McRae took three wins and led the championship before the season-ending Rally GB, where he crashed out. Ford also lost the manufacturers' title to Peugeot.
In 2002, Sainz inherited the victory of the Rally Argentina, having provisionally finished third, by virtue of the disqualifications of the two leading Peugeots of Marcus Grönholm and Burns. This was his only win of the season, and in a close fight for the second place in the drivers' championship, behind the dominant Grönholm, Sainz finished third, one point ahead of his teammate McRae.
Effectively frozen out along with McRae at Ford, he along with the Scot moved to Citroën for the 2003, during which he scored one win in Turkey – which was the first gravel event win for Citroën Xsara WRC – and finished third in the championship. Sainz continued with the team in 2004 season, and scored his final world rally victory at the 2004 Rally Argentina. During the Rally Catalonya 2004, after announcing his retirement, Sainz was considered by drivers, codrivers and directors of the official teams, as the best rally driver of history. In the championship, Sainz finished fourth, after missing out the final rally in Australia, due an accident during pre-event recce.
Despite formally retiring at the end of the 2004 season, with a possible view to moving into the World Touring Car Championship, he was to actually find himself invited back to the WRC fold on the request of Citroën, to replace the faltering Belgian driver François Duval. Although Duval was soon to reclaim his seat, Sainz's two rallies back in the Citroën impressed many, with the now 43-year-old Spaniard posting fourth and third finishing positions respectively.
2006 saw a first participation for Sainz at the wheel of a Volkswagen in that year's Dakar Rally, sharing the cockpit with the two times winner of the Dakar Rally, Andreas Schulz. In 2007, he repeated his attempt with Volkswagen, this time with French Michel Perin, also a former winner of the raid. Following the resignation of Fernando Martin, he even ran, eventually in vain, for the vice-president position at his beloved football club Real Madrid, for which he once trained. In 2007 Sainz won the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup with the Volkswagen team. In 2008, he won the Central European Rally, which was the relocated and rescheduled Dakar Rally for that year because of a terrorist attack. In January 2009, partnering again with Perin, he led the Dakar Rally until crashing out on the 12th stage. Later in 2009 Sainz won Silk Way Rally with Volkswagen team. At the 2010 Dakar Rally, Sainz changed again co-pilot, teaming with fellow Spaniard Lucas Cruz. Sainz edged out teammate Nasser Al-Attiyah to take his maiden win in the event. In 2010 Sainz also won the Silk Way Rally for the second time. In the 2011 Dakar Rally Sainz finished third.
Sainz entered Dakar Rally 2013 in a brand-new two-wheel-drive buggy. His teammate was former Dakar-winner Nasser Al-Attiyah and the team was supported by Qatar and Red Bull. Sainz won the first stage, but faced later various problems and was finally forced to retire on the sixth stage due to an engine failure. After the retirement Sainz commented that despite the result, "it was worth coming here with this concept ... I hope the experience will be useful for the future even if I'm not sure whether I'll come back”. However, later Sainz announced he would like to be part of Qatar Red Bull Rally Team and return to the Dakar in 2014. Sainz took part in the 2014 Dakar, but was forced to retire after a crash on stage 10. He joined Peugeot team for Dakar 2015. In the rally he retired after a crash. In Dakar 2016 Sainz was forced to retire from the lead after the gearbox of his Peugeot broke. In 2017 Sainz also had to retire after rolling his Peugeot during the fourth stage of the rally. In 2018, Sainz took the second Dakar win of his career with Peugeot team. On 17 January 2020, Sainz won his third Dakar rally title with co-driver Lucaz Cruz. The duo registered four stage wins to their name, before finally winning the race with a lead of just 6 minutes and 21 seconds.
Volkswagen's WRC project
As Volkswagen announced its WRC entry for 2013, Sainz was announced to be part of the WRC project. Volkswagen's motorsport director Kris Nissen told that he needed "10 seconds" to convince Sainz to remain part of the company's efforts in the new programme. Nissen told that the team would need Sainz for some testing of the new car. In November 2011, Sainz had the honour to drive first kilometres with the new Volkswagen Polo R WRC near Trier, Germany, when the team began testing the new car. In late 2011, Nissen also revealed he would like to see Sainz taking part in some rally with the WRC Polo before he calls time on his career. In early 2012 Sainz drove Polo WRC in its maiden gravel test in Spain with Sébastien Ogier and in summer he tested Polo WRC in Finland. In October Sainz re-joined his old co-driver Luis Moya again and performed course car duties on the San Marino´s annual Rally Legend event with Volkswagen's new-for-2013 Polo R WRC. In December 2012 Sainz dismissed the rumours he would drive Polo WRC in some WRC-rally in 2013, but stated he was available for testing, if needed.
Sainz also returned to competing in 2012, as he entered a historic rally with his old co-driver Luis Moya in Spain. The pair competed in Porsche 911 rally car and won the rally. The pair made a return to historic rallies in March 2013 by winning Rally de España Histórico with a Porsche 911.
Peugeot's Dakar project
In March 2014 it was announced that Peugeot would return to Dakar in 2015 and Sainz joined Cyril Despres to race for Peugeot, driving its Peugeot 2008 DKR. The Dakar deal with Peugeot also meant that Sainz would leave the Volkswagen team.
- Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit, 21 December 1994
- Olympic Order 1997 – Awarded by Spanish Olympic Committee
- Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit, 30 November 2001
- Gold Medal for Sporting Merit 2001 – Awarded by Ayuntamiento de Madrid
- Medal of youth and sports and associative engagement 2008 – Awarded by the French Government
- In March 2012, Sainz was inducted into the Rally Hall of Fame along with Michèle Mouton.
- In May 2020, Carlos Sainz has been crowned The Greatest WRC Driver of all time in a poll of fans and expert journalists.
- On 16 June 2020, Princess of Asturias Awards por Sports.
|1987||Spanish Rally Champion||Ford Sierra RS Cosworth|
|1988||Spanish Rally Champion||Ford Sierra RS Cosworth|
|1990||Asia-Pacific Rally Champion||Toyota Celica GT-Four ST165|
|1990||World Rally Champion||Toyota Celica GT-Four ST165|
|1992||World Rally Champion||Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD ST185|
|1997||Champion of Champions||Various|
|2007||FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup||Volkswagen Race Touareg|
|2008||Central Europe Rally (cars)||Volkswagen Race Touareg|
|2010||2010 Dakar Rally Winner (cars)||Volkswagen Race Touareg|
|2018||2018 Dakar Rally Winner (cars)||Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi|
|2020||2020 Dakar Rally Winner (cars)||Mini John Cooper Works Buggy|
Complete WRC results
Dakar Rally results
|2012||Did not enter|
Dakar Rally Stages Wins
NOTE: Following the 2007 killing of French tourists in Mauritania, the Amaury Sport Organisation moved the 2008 edition to Central Europe, known as the Central Europe Rally. As the race was legally held under Dakar regulations with Dakar entries, the rally is included as part of the Dakar lineage.
- According to World Rally Archive, Sainz won 756 stages. Sainz also won one special stage in Safari Rally 1991 (source: Auto Hebdo), that is not yet taken into account by www.juwra.com.
- "Team Peugeot Total - The team". redbull.com. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- "Carlos Sainz, premio Princesa de Asturias de los deportes". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). June 16, 2020. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
- "Record-breaker Anttila". Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- "Carlos Sainz". Retrieved July 6, 2015.
- "Driver profile: Carlos Sainz". WRC.com. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
- "Multi-faceted biography characterises multi-talent Carlos Sainz" race-deZert.com, 7 December 2009; Retrieved 22 May 2017
- "Carlos Sainz". RallyBase. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
- FIA World Rally Championship HISTORY REVIEW/ Wales Rally GB 2013 - Rally of Legends YouTube, 10 November 2013
- Statistics Carlos-Sainz.com; Retrieved 28 March 2013
- Sainz to miss Australia Crash.net, 10 November 2004; Retrieved 28 March 2013
- The film of the stage Central Europe Rally 2008 Archived 30 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- "Carlos Sainz crashes out of Dakar Rally". The Telegraph. January 15, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2009.
- classements Silk Way Rally 2009 Archived 23 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 14 September 2009
- Beer, Matt (January 16, 2010). "Sainz clinches Dakar Rally victory". Autosport. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
- WRC aces face new Dakar challenge Archived November 23, 2018, at the Wayback Machine WRC.com Retrieved 22 November 2012
- Carlos Sainz abandona en el Dakar Archived November 22, 2018, at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish) Carlos Sainz.com; Retrieved 10 January 2013
- Stage 6 Quotes: Dakar Dakar.com Archived 13 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- News – Carlos Sainz: Sainz vows to return to Dakar Archived November 22, 2018, at the Wayback Machine Carlos-Sainz.com; Retrieved 9 March 2013
- Dakar: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins stage 10 as Carlos Sainz crashes out Autosport, 15 January 2014; Retrieved 29 March 2014
- Dakar 2015: Coma on the comeback trail, Sainz out Red Bull, 8 January 2014; Retrieved 19 January 2016
- "Carlos Sainz out of Dakar Rally after gearbox failure on Peugeot" El Pais English, 14 January 2016; Retrieved 19 of January 2016
- Sainz explains crash: “I was pushing to recover lost time” MotorSport.com, 6 January 2017; Retrieved 6 January 2017
- "Dakar Rally 2018: Carlos Sainz wins race for second time", BBC Sport, 20 January 2018; Retrieved 4 February 2018
- "Carlos Sainz Sr. wins the 2020 Dakar, claiming third Dakar crown". Goodwood Road and Racing. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
- Polo WRC will run this year AutoSport, 5 May 2011; Retrieved 3 June 2011
- First outing: Volkswagen starts testing progremme with Polo R WRC MotorSport.com Archived 1 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 10 November 2011
- World Rally Championship – Nissen to offer Vettel WRC test Archived November 22, 2018, at the Wayback Machine WRC.com; Retrieved 30 December 2011
- Carlos Sainz tries Volkswagen's Polo World Rally car for first time Autosport, 2 March 2012; Retrieved 2 March 2012
- YouTube.com – Carlos Sainz tests VW Polo WRC @ Ehikki, Finland YouTube, 27 June 2012; Retrieved 20 September 2012
- WLegends join forces for Polo R WRC run Archived November 22, 2018, at the Wayback Machine WRC.com; Retrieved 16 October 2012
- I won't rally Polo, insists Sainz Archived November 22, 2018, at the Wayback Machine WRC.com; Retrieved 14 December 2012
- WRC legend Sainz back to winning ways Archived November 22, 2018, at the Wayback Machine WRC.com; Retrieved 20 September 2012
- Carlos Sainz vuelve a imponerse en el Rallye de España con un Porsche 911 Archived November 22, 2018, at the Wayback Machine Carlos-Sainz.com; Retrieved 2 March 2013 (in Spanish)
- marathonrally.com - Dakar Rally 2015: Carlos Sainz and Cyril Despres to start with Peugeot 2015 MarathonRally.com, 26 March 2014; Retrieved 29 March 2015
- Sainz leaves VW after Dakar deal WRC.com, March 2014; Retrieved 29 March 2014
- Hemeroteca Mundo Deportivo
- "Carlos Sainz, distinguido con la Gran Cruz" (PDF).
- Monnaie de Paris
- "Sainz and Mouton nominated to Rally Hall of Fame". Neste Oil Rally Finland. March 12, 2012. Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
- "CARLOS SAINZ CROWNED THE GREATEST WRC DRIVER". WRC. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
- Acta del Jurado
- "404". www.vw.com.
- Broomhead, James. "2010 Dakar Rally Stage Fourteen: Carlos Sainz Takes His Win!". Bleacher Report.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Carlos Sainz.|
- Official website of Carlos Sainz (in Spanish and English)