Although he’s had a couple of wobbly moments this year, Carlos Sainz Jr is still one of the most highly rated young drivers on the grid. He’s likely to be fairly high up on the shopping list of many teams, having consistently performed well for Toro Rosso.
He apparently turned down a drive with Renault for this year in the hope of a spot opening up at the main Red Bull team. Even though that’s now looking unlikely, Sainz is still holding out hope and says that a seat in the main team is still his priority.
“It’s still a long season ahead and these rumours will always come. My target number one is to be with Red Bull next year and start fighting for podiums, wins or whatever they are fighting for next year. I’m going to keep pushing for this.”
Unfortunately for Carlos that is looking less and less of an option with both Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen under contract for 2018 and without much in the way of contract clauses to allow either to leave.
If Red Bull ends up being a dead end for Sainz, he said he’s not going to stick around for another year with Toro Rosso and instead pursue a different avenue to the top of F1.
“If that doesn’t happen a fourth year in Toro Rosso is unlikely and I’m not going to close the door to any opportunity. I’m definitely ready to take a step forward in my career. I’m not closing any doors.”
Exactly which team Sainz has his eye on is unknown, although Renault must be a strong favourite – even though pretty much every free driver on the grid is linked to them!
There’s still a fair way to go this season though, and for Sainz it’s one he’s enjoying – after all, he’s thrashing teammate Daniil Kvyat 29 points to four and the Toro Rosso STR12 seems to be a pretty good car.
But even though he’s looking towards his future, Sainz says he’s just going to focus on continuing to deliver results this year…something you’d expect any driver to say, really!
“It’s still very early, I don’t know what is going to happen next year. It’s silly season. It’s good fun but for me, the good fun is on track to keep performing as I am up until now. I have a job, which is to drive a car and do it as fast as possible.
I have got to the point now where I feel confident with the team, with the car and I think the season is going positively until now. Every time we have finished, we’ve been in the points. We have 11 more points than at this point last season – this is all positive, but we just need to keep working.”
Where would you like to see Sainz driving next year? Let us know in the comments!
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