Carlos Sainz has played down the likelihood that he could be 'traded' to Renault for the 2017 Formula 1 season in return for a more favourable engine deal for Red Bull.
The Spaniard was officially confirmed as having signed a new Red Bull contract for the 2017 F1 season ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix in a deal that is presumed to see him compete with the Toro Rosso outfit for a third season.
However, reports in the Spanish media suggest Red Bull could be prepared to loan Sainz to Renault's factory F1 team in return for a better engine deal following the confirmation both it and Toro Rosso will receive a supply in 2017.
Though Sainz does not explicitly deny Red Bull could utilise that option on him, he says it would be 'strange' if the motivation to re-sign him was simply to trade him with another team.
“I don't know if it's a possibility or not but this obviously lies on Red Bull. It would be very strange, because if Red Bull has signed me, and Toro Rosso has signed me it's because they want me, and they don't want me to be traded with other teams,” he said.
“Maybe they change mind, I don't know, but it would be very strange, I think it would be very extraordinary if something like that happened.”
“I heard the rumours that Renault might be interested and all those kind of stuff. I don't know how much of it is true.
“If it could happen or not I really think no because the one and sole intention that Red Bull has renewed the contract is to keep me, not for me to be traded, so I think I can be quite confident and quite calm about my future because of that. If at the end it happens it will be unexpected, let's put it like that.”