Carlos Sainz says that, while he is content to be a team player for the time being, he won't be afraid to show a selfish streak when the situation calls for it.

The Spaniard was at the centre of a 'team orders' row at the Singapore Grand Prix, when Toro Rosso team-mate Max Verstappen refused move over for him, but says he isn't going to push the issue, even after team bosses admitted that they were wrong to give the instruction to the Dutchman.

There is no doubt that the situation irritated the former Renault World Series champion at the time, but Sainz is well aware that he needs to watch his words with his F1 career still in its infancy with an employer that has shown little mercy when it comes to driving talent.

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"Obviously, you always need to show a bit of selfishness if you are a champion but, in my opinion, the long-term best position that you can do is listen to the team," he explained, "I am a team player. I've said it from the beginning and I think I've shown in from the beginning - every time the team has asked me for something, I was telling them 'yes'.

"In the end, I rely on these guys - on Red Bull, on Toro Rosso - and my future relies on them. If I turn my back on them, I know that I am not going to go anywhere, so I think I behaved."

With both Verstappen and Sainz being tipped for bigger and better things, either within the Red Bull family or elsewhere in F1, the Spaniard - who has shown no qualms in dealing with more experienced opponents, including hero Fernando Alonso, in his debut season - promises that he possesses a more steely streak if he needs to call on it.

"So far I have not had the situation to show my selfishness because I've trusted them," he said of his team, "Every time they called for [position] swaps, I've done it, but, when I need to be selfish, don't worry, I will be..."