Discover the stories of the Dakar's heroes Inside the Bivouac
N°207 Car TEAM AUDI SPORT

CARLOS SAINZ

(esp) 1.79m / 80kg

Hobbies

Fútbol, golf, squash (Campeón de España en 1978), tenis, esquí

Sponsors

Audi, Red Bull

2022: Coches/12º (2 victorias de etapa)
2021: Coche/ 3º (3 victorias de etapa)
2020: Coche/ 1º (4 victorias de etapa)
2019: Coche/ 13º (1 victoria de etapa)
2018: Coche/ 1º (2 victorias de etapa)
2017: Coche/ Abandono en la 4ª etapa
2016: Coche/ Abandono en la 10º etapa (2 victorias de etapa)
2015: Coche/ Abandono en la 5ª etapa
2014: Coche/ Abandono en la 10ª etapa (2 victorias de etapa)
2013: Coche/ Abandono en la etapa 6 (1 victoria de etapa)
2011: Coche/ 3º (7 victorias de etapa)
2010: Coche/ 1º (2 victorias de etapa)
2009: Coche/Abandono en la 12ª etapa (6 victorias de etapa)
2007: Coche/ 9º (5 victorias de etapa)
2006: Coche/ 11º (4 victorias de etapa)

2022: 1º en el Rally de Marruecos (categoría OPEN); 3º en la Extreme E
2021: 2º en el Rally Andalucía; 7º en la Extreme E
2020: 2º en el Rally Andalucía
2019: 2º en el Rally de Marruecos
2018: 26º en el Rally de Marruecos
2010: 1º en el Silk Way Rally (2 victorias de etapa, Volkswagen Race Touareg 2)
2009: 1º en el Rally dos Sertoes y 1º en el Silk Way Rally (6 victorias de etapa, Volkswagen Race Touareg 2)
2008: 1º del Rally Central Europeo y 14º en las 24 horas de Nürburgring
2007: Campeón de la Copa del Mundo de Rallies Cross Country; 2º en el UAE Desert Challenge, 2º en el Rally de Marruecos y 2º en el UAE Rally (5 victorias de etapa, Volkswagen Race Touareg)
2005: 3º en la Baja Portalegre
2003: 3º en el Campeonato del Mundo de Rallies WRC
2002: 3º en el Campeonato del Mundo de Rallies WRC
1997: 1º en la Carrera de Campeones
1991, 1994, 1995 y 1998: Subcampeón del Mundo de Rallies WRC
1990 y 1992: Campeón del Mundo de Rallies WRC

Interview

“The aim has to be to fight for the victory”

Sixty-year-old Carlos Sainz has lost none of his world-famous competitive spirit. The two-time world rally champion (1990 and 1992) marked an era in the discipline. The Madrid native is targeting his fourth Dakar triumph (2010, 2018 and 2020) and wants to do it in style: by becoming the first driver to do it with a vehicle powered by electric motors and a range extender (3 MGU05s from Formula E and a TFSI 2.0 engine from the DTM). In Audi Sport's second Dakar appearance with its innovative and now updated RS Q e-tron E2, the German constructor and the Spanish driver will only settle for the win. Sainz is a benchmark in rallying circles, but he got his start in a much different sport, squash. He was a national champion at 16 years of age. His obsession for detail and perfection are two qualities that have always defined him since he started racing a rally car in the early 80s. His attention to detail made him a hero for a generation of fans with his two WRC titles and 26 championship victories, as well as his changing the modus operandi of international rally drivers in terms of physical preparation and technical prowess. So much so that, in a vote on the official World Rally Championship website in 2020, fans around the world voted him the best of all time, ahead of even nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb. Sainz's adventures in half the world's deserts began in 2006 when he competed for Volkswagen in the last two editions of the African Dakar. However, it was not until 2010, in South America, that he and Lucas Cruz, his inseparable co-driver, enjoyed raising the famous Touareg trophy to the sky. They repeated the feat with Peugeot in 2018 and again with MINI X-Raid in 2020. In 2022, Sainz again combined his presence in Extreme E (the first electric 4x4 championship), in which he fought for the title, with the development of version two of the Audi Sport 4x4 for the Dakar. His victory in the Open category at the Rally of Morocco (because the German vehicle has already passed homologation for the 2023 World Rally Raid Championship technical regulations) gives everyone in the team reason to be optimistic. But Sainz stresses that the extra 100 kg of minimum weight they will have compared to their rivals - Bahrain Raid Xtreme, Toyota and MINI - worries him. Even so, El Matador will be looking for his fourth win with a fourth different constructor alongside Lucas Cruz in their ninth participation as a crew. Age is not a concern for Carlos Sainz, and he wants to continue to enhance his legend.


C.S.: “Logically, we are approaching this Dakar with slightly more ambition than in January 2022. Last year, the project was a little short of time, despite the great work done with all the complex technology in our vehicle. This year, we were able to put in the kilometres on the Dakar itself and the Morocco Rally in October, so we are better prepared. The objective has to be to fight for the,victory. We are three drivers who will be able to pressure our competitors, and Audi can only think about fighting for the win”.
“I would like to be on the top step of the podium on 15 January, but I'm sure that if one of my teammates does it, we will all be delighted. We've done all the work we needed to do. But obviously, we're still 100kg heavier than the competition, and it shows. However, our preparation has been much better than 12 months ago. We have a more refined set-up, and we hope to be solid and reliable enough not to have any mechanical problems, which is essential when fighting for the Touareg”.


L.C.: “As always, the goal is victory, but it won't be easy. There is a lot of competition. Several teams have worked to make their cars more efficient and effective. We are ready to fight and try to reach our goal. The desire to fight for everything is intact, but the regulations will mean that at the end of the special stages we will be 100 kg heavier than the others. It will be a handicap to take into account. In Morocco, we had no problems after 2,500 km of competition, and we are pleased and motivated by our performance and reliability going into the Dakar. We have worked as hard as possible on this new RS Q e-tron E2. The homework is now complete”.
“As for the navigation, I hope ASO has taken note of the mistake on the opening stage of the 2022 edition; no one likes the rally to be determined on the first day. Hopefully, it will be a good rally, and we will achieve our goal of winning it for the first time with an electric-powered car.”

Vehicle

TEAM AUDI SPORT

AUDI RS Q E-TRON E2
TEAM AUDI SPORT

  • AUDI
  • RS Q E-TRON E2
  • Audi Sport
  • Audi Sport
  • T1.U: "Ultimate" Prototype Cross-Country Cars

Ranking 2023

All news of C. Sainz

Newsflashes - 10/01 11:07 [GMT +3] - Car

Carlos Sainz is back at the 6-km point!

There is a new episode in the Carlos Sainz saga on stage 9: the Spaniard wanted a chance of resuming the race and requested that the medical helicopter taking him to hospital turn around to take him back to his car. He has re-joined Lucas Cruz and is awaiting their assistance vehicle. Unless he changes his mind again…

Newsflashes - 10/01 10:49 [GMT +3] - Car

Sainz gives up

The Spanish driver, who lost control of his Audi after 6 km and was awaiting his assistance team to try and resume the special, has finally thrown in the towel, still suffering from pain in the right side of his torso. He has been airlifted to hospital in Riyadh to undergo further medical check-ups.

Newsflashes - 10/01 10:11 [GMT +3] - Car

Sainz hopes to resume racing

After rolling his car at the very beginning of the special after 6 km, Carlos Sainz climbed out of his Audi feeling pain on the right hand of his torso, whilst co-pilot Lucas Cruz was unharmed. The three times winner of the Dakar is not giving up and despite the significant damage suffered by his RS Q e-tron E2, he is determined to wait for his assistance team before resuming...

Newsflashes - 10/01 09:32 [GMT +3] - Car

False start for Sainz

 Carlos Sainz and his co-pilot Lucas Cruz have rolled the car after 5 km from the start. The two Spaniards from the Audi team are unharmed, but their chances of stage victory today are compromised.

Newsflashes - 10/01 09:12 [GMT +3] - Car

Sainz sets off ready for a fight

After seemingly winning Sunday’s special, Carlos Sainz received a 5-minute penalty for speeding. The Audi driver therefore had to content himself with third place, leaving victory to Sébastien Loeb. Today, “El Matador” is the third driver to start. With nothing left to lose, Sainz will be going on all out attack to win the stage.

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Reactions - 08/01 15:10 [GMT +3] - Car

Carlos Sainz: "We finally got a clear run"

Originally hailed as the winner of the stage, Carlos Sainz was later relegated to third place by a penalty for speeding, handing the win to Sébastien Loeb.

 

"Yeah, we had a good stage, a clean stage. Finally, we got to enjoy ourselves a little bit and get a clear run. Starting so far behind, we had no dust, thanks to the rain....

Reactions - 07/01 18:22 [GMT +3] - Car

Carlos Sainz: "We gave Mattias our suspension"

No longer in contention for a podium place in Dammam, Carlos Sainz was the ideal teammate in stage 7. The Audi driver was hoping to score a success in today's super-fast special, but he stopped to help Mattias Ekström fix his car.
 

"Yet another bad day for us… This is definitely not our lucky rally. But we'll...

Summary - 06/01 18:26 [GMT +3]

Dakar 2023 - Stage 6 | A sandy boulevard opens up for Al Attiyah

FOCUS
It was a special shortened to 357 kilometres that the riders, drivers and crews on the Dakar tackled, setting off to the southeast of Ha’il. The ultra-sandy programme, made slightly easier by the rain that had modified the solidity of the ground, allowed the riders, drivers and crews to get through the stage without too many mishaps, but the dunes held some...

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