Lucas di Grassi

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Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz

“El Matador” from Spain, Carlos Sainz, adds his level of focus and determination that earned him two World Rally titles and three Dakar Rally victories to date. The legend is joined by his compatriot Lucas Cruz, who was part of one of Sainz’s junior rally teams at the start of his career.

Lucas di Grassi in der Boxengasse

El Matador

Carlos Sainz is the ‘grand seigneur’ of international rallying. The Spaniard has been active at the wheel for over 40 years. Sainz has won the Dakar Rally three times, is a two-time World Rally champion and also won the World Cup of cross-country rallies once.

Carlos Sainz was a champion even before he won his first title on four wheels. “In 1979, I became the first Spanish champion in squash,” he notes. “If there is one sport that’s good for motorsport athletes, it’s squash: you have to be very fit, have fast reflexes, good coordination, good all-round vision and be quick in your thinking.” He still swings a racket regularly today. Sainz also enjoys playing tennis and golf very much and very well.

However, Sainz celebrated his greatest successes in the car: he became World Rally Champion in 1990 and 1992. In 2005, he switched to cross-country rallying; his greatest successes were the Dakar Rally victories in 2010, 2018 and 2020.

Carlos Sainz has worked and won for many car manufacturers. “But, being part of Audi today really means a lot to me,” he says. Carlos Sainz is 59 years old. Asked about this, he grins and says: “I’m still hungry.”

Biography

Date of birth: April 12, 1962
Place of birth: Madrid (E)
Place of residence: Madrid (E)
Marital status: married to Reyes Vázquez de Castro Rincón, two daughters (Blanca and Ana), one son (Carlos)
Height/weight: 1.77 m/ 84 kg
Motorsport since: 1980 (Audi driver since 2021)

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Career as a driver:
1980–1986 Rallies in Spain and Europe
1987 35th place World Rally Championship
1988 11th place World Rally Championship
1989 8th place World Rally Championship
1990 1st place World Rally Championship
1991 2nd place World Rally Championship
1992 1st place World Rally Championship
1994 2nd place World Rally Championship
1995 2nd place World Rally Championship

More details

1996 3rd place World Rally Championship
1997 1st place World Rally Championship, 1st place Race of Champions
1998 2nd place World Rally Championship
2000 3rd place World Rally Championship
2002 3rd place World Rally Championship
2003 3rd place World Rally Championship
2005 3rd place Baja Portalegre 500
2006 Dakar Rally
2007 1st place FIA World Cup Cross Country Rallies
2008 1st place Central Europe Rally, 14th place 24 hours Nürburgring
2009 Dakar Rally, 1st place Silk Way Rally, 1st place Rally dos Sertoes
2010 1st place Dakar Rally, 1st place Silk Way Rally
2011 3rd place Dakar Rally
2013 Dakar Rally
2014 Dakar Rally
2015 Dakar Rally
2016 Dakar Rally
2017 Dakar Rally
2018 1st place Dakar Rally
2019 13th place Dakar Rally, 2nd place Morocco Rally, 2nd place Baja Sharqiyah
2020 1st place Dakar Rally, 2nd place Baja Hail 1, 1st place Baja Hail 2
2021 3rd place Dakar Rally, Extreme E, Audi Dakar Project

Lucas di Grassi in der Boxengasse

The veteran

Lucas Cruz has won the Dakar Rally as a co-driver three times so far. Each time, the Spaniard worked alongside Carlos Sainz. The Spanish duo has been contesting cross-country rallies together for twelve years now.

For Lucas Cruz, understanding and trust are crucial to the success of a driver and co-driver in cross-country rallies. “There is always high tension in the cockpit at these marathons, because just a small mistake by either of us can lead to major damage,” explains Lucas Cruz.

“Working with Carlos is a pleasure.” At least for Lucas Cruz, since he took over the job of navigator alongside Sainz in mid-2009. “Carlos is more of a friend than a colleague to me,” says Cruz. He compares their relationship, which has grown over so many years, to that of an old married couple: “You usually know exactly what’s going on in the other person’s head at any given moment.”

The two met in 1994, when Carlos was in charge of a project to promote young Spanish rally drivers. “I was one of the participants,” Lucas Cruz reports. It was the time when ‘El Matador’ was one of the leading drivers in the World Rally Championship.

Biography

Date of birth: December 26, 1974
Place of birth: Barcelona (E)
Place of residence: Caldes de Montbui (E)
Marital status: single, one daughter (Edurne)
Height/weight: 1.79 m/78 kg
Motorsport since: 1994 (Audi co-driver since 2021)

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Career as a co-driver:

1994–2000 Rally co-driver
2001 Dakar Rally (driver José-Luis Monterde)
2006 Dakar Rally (driver Jean Pujol – Truck category)
2007 Dakar Rally (driver Nani Roma)
2009 Dakar Rally (driver Nani Roma), 1st place Silk Way Rally, 1st place Rally dos Sertoes (driver Carlos Sainz each time)
2010 1st place Dakar Rally, 1st Silk Way Rally (driver in each case Carlos Sainz)
2011 3rd place Dakar Rally (driver Carlos Sainz)
2012 Dakar Rally (driver Nasser Al-Attiyah)
2013 Dakar Rally (driver Nasser Al-Attiyah)

More details

2014 3rd place Dakar Rally (driver Nasser Al-Attiyah)
2015 Dakar Rally (driver Carlos Sainz)
2016 Dakar Rally (driver Carlos Sainz)
2017 Dakar Rally (driver Carlos Sainz)
2018 1st place Dakar Rally (driver Carlos Sainz)
2019 13th place Dakar Rally, 2nd place Morocco Rally, 2nd place Baja Sharqiyah (driver Carlos Sainz in each case).
2020 1st place Dakar Rally, 2nd place Baja Hail 1, 1st place Baja Hail 2 (driver Carlos Sainz in each case)
2021 3rd place Dakar Rally (driver Carlos Sainz), Audi Dakar Project

Sainz
Cruz

Audi e-tron FE05 auf der Rennstrecke
Lucas di Grassi gibt Interviews
Lucas di Grassi in der Box

Audi e-tron: Power consumption, combined*: 24.3–21.4 kWh/100km (NEDC); 26.1–21.7 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Audi e-tron: Power consumption, combined*: 24.3–21.4 kWh/100km (NEDC); 26.1–21.7 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

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