The Woking-based team confirmed Sainz as one of its 2019 drivers on a multi-year deal.
“We’re incredibly excited to have Carlos join us as a McLaren driver,” said McLaren CEO Zak Brown.
“We’ve been assessing him for some time now and rate him very highly among the next generation of young talent emerging through the ranks in Formula 1.”
The main complication McLaren faced with Sainz was his contractual situation with Red Bull.
Sainz is on loan from Red Bull at Renault this season but his long-time backer retained an option to recall him to the senior team.
With Ricciardo making the shock decision to quit Red Bull Racing for Renault, taking Sainz’s drive, McLaren had to wait until Red Bull decided whether to promote Sainz or Pierre Gasly.
This confirmation that Sainz will race for the Woking squad means Red Bull Racing has relinquished its option early and indicates it has committed to Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly partnering Max Verstappen next season.
— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) August 16, 2018
Sainz said: “I’m delighted to finally be able to confirm that I’ll be a McLaren driver from the 2019 season.
“It’s something I’ve been looking at for a while and I’m very excited about this next chapter in my career.”
The team says it will announce its second driver “in due course”.
Congratulations to Carlos Sainz Jr. in getting the McLaren drive. Following his hero’s footsteps by taking the role with a top Formula 1 team as Fernando Alonso parts way from the sport come the end of the year.
Best of luck to Sainz in his new squad come 2019.