After being linked with a move to Renault for the 2017 season, Carlos Sainz says he wants to remain loyal to the Red Bull programme as he chases a promotion to the senior team.
The Spaniard was first linked to the French manufacturer mid-way through the season, but Red Bull put a quick end to the prospect as they re-signed Sainz for a further year to remain with Toro Rosso.
Since Renault will be powering the Toro Rosso team in 2017, speculation remained that Sainz could be used as part of a deal between the two. However, Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost dismissed the idea, saying that Sainz was needed to spearhead their line-up for next year.
Speaking ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix, Sainz spoke about the interest surrounding his talents and his commitment to Toro Rosso.
“If there is some discussion going on, there has been some interest and contacts which for me is an honour that a manufacturer team is worried about me and wants to know my contractual situation,” Sainz said.
“As you know, more or less what is going on with Red Bull they guide your career, they paid for 5 years of my junior series, which is millions of euros and I perfectly understand they don’t want to let me go having spent so much money on me and me being in the best moment of my career and then just let me go.”
Sainz currently has a contract which will see him to the end of 2017 at least, with his long-term plan involving a promotion to the senior Red Bull team to partner either Daniel Ricciardo or Max Verstappen.
“It is an honour to have interest from a manufacturer team that wants me to develop the car and create a good base for the future,” Sainz continued.
“My main target and objective is to in 2018 be fighting for the world championship and hopefully that will be with Red Bull. That is my main target and I know it is very difficult but the only thinking I want is for that to happen and I need to find the shortest way to that point.
“At the moment I have full trust in Toro Rosso that they are going to produce a good chassis for next year because if there was any doubt, Singapore proved Toro Rosso is probably the third or fourth best chassis on the grid.
Even on a short straight in Singapore we were 12kph down but still qualifying P6, one second off a Red Bull. It shows the car is good and performs in cornering.
“As for Renault, I don’t have enough information that they are going to perform next year or if it is going to take two years or three years. I don’t have any feedback to know if they will be a top level next year or in three years’ time.”
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