NEW DRIVER: Toro Rosso is expected to make an announcement for its 2015 driver line-up. Will rookie driver Carlos Sainz Jnr (above) replace Jean-Eric Vergne? Image: Facebook
LONDON, England - Carlos Sainz, son of the same-named World Rally championship driver, says he hopes Toro Rosso will announce his 2015 debut soon.
Major Spanish sports newspapers AS and Marca have reported that the 20-year-old has been selected by Helmut Marko to race alongside fellow rookie Max Verstappen in the 2015 Formula 1 season.
There had been suggestions that team owner Red Bull would instead keep the experienced Jean-Eric Vergne but insiders say the 24-year-old's body language changed suddenly for the worse in the Abu Dhabi paddock last weekend.
Then on Sunday, in another sign that he has definitely lost the seat for 2015, Vergne appeared to breach Red Bull protocol by fighting aggressively on track against Daniel Ricciardo, the lead driver for the energy drink company's main team.
It is believed Vergne is now in talks with Williams about replacing the Sauber-bound Felipe Nasr as reserve driver for 2015.
Sainz and his well-known namesake father were already in the Abu Dhabi paddock ahead of the youngster's test for Red Bull Racing on Tuesday (Nov 25).
Marca reported they were walking around the Yas Marina paddock with "undisguised happiness" after meetings with Toro Rosso officials.
Sainz jr, the current Formula Renault 3.5 champion, said: "I hope the announcement is made this coming week. I can do no more. We'll see what happens."