Carlos Sainz Jr. claims he is not considering a move away from the Red Bull programme in Formula 1 despite admitting that the driver situation at its senior team is “quite closed”.
Sainz made his grand prix debut with Toro Rosso, Red Bull’s junior F1 team, at the beginning of 2015 and has impressed many in the paddock in the meantime.
However, when Red Bull took the decision to demote Daniil Kvyat back to Toro Rosso, Sainz’s teammate Max Verstappen was promoted up into the senior outfit.
With both Verstappen and Red Bull lead driver Daniel Ricciardo locked in on long-term contracts, Sainz’s chances of moving up from Toro Rosso in the future look slim, leading to speculation about a possible move away from the Red Bull setup for 2017.
“The silly season has started very early! We are in the eighth race of the season and you guys are already speaking about this,” Sainz told NBCSN.
“What I can say is that I’m very happy with how things have been going lately for me, very happy to keep growing inside Toro Rosso because we have been improving a lot.
“These things you are talking about are just rumors. My career has been guided by Red Bull and they’ve always taken the right decision for me.
“So hopefully, when the time comes, after hopefully continuing a good run of races, they will take a decision regarding me and it’s the right one.”
Sainz conceded that the driver line-up at Red Bull seems set for many years to come, but believes that Toro Rosso can move up the grid and be more competitive.
“It’s true that in Red Bull the situation looks quite closed,” Sainz said.
“But we must keep thinking that Toro Rosso with a good power unit and one more year of experience and growing could be also in a good position. James Key is a brilliant engineer that is bringing the team up also.
“We will see where we can be next year, obviously I don’t want at the moment to move from the Red Bull programme and from Toro Rosso and obviously Red Bull more in the future as it looks quite closed at the moment.”