Toro Rosso Formula 1 chief Franz Tost says that Carlos Sainz Jr. will have his 2018 plans decided by Red Bull as he remains under contract, despite the Spaniard’s claim that remaining with the team next year is “unlikely”.
Sainz made his F1 debut with Red Bull’s F1 B-team in 2015, and has put in some quietly impressive displays during his time in the sport to attract the attention of teams further up the grid.
Sainz said on Thursday in Austria that he felt a fourth year with Toro Rosso in 2018 was “unlikely”, targeting a seat with Red Bull’s senior team or elsewhere if one was not available.
The comments sparked an angry reaction in the British media from Red Bull F1 chief Christian Horner in the British media, stressing that Sainz would still be racing for Toro Rosso next year.
Toro Rosso’s Tost shared Horner’s view, stressing in Friday’s FIA press conference that Sainz’s future was in Red Bull’s hands.
“This is not a decision of Carlos Sainz. He has a Red Bull contract and Red Bull decides what he will do in the future,” Tost said.
“I’m a little bit confused about this discussion at this stage of the year because Red Bull has paid and financed the complete career of Carlos Sainz.
They paid his Formula BMW season, Formula Renault, then Formula Three, GP3, 3.5 litre World Series and three years in Formula Three.
“Why should Red Bull give him away to any other opponent when they educated him to quite a high level? I think sometimes loyalty – also in Formula One – should play an important game.
“Once more, it’s a decision of Red Bull.”