Carlos Sainz has hinted talks have taken place between Red Bull and Renault over a potential deal that could see him join the French manufacturer in 2017, but says he would rather stay with Toro Rosso in the short-term.
As it stands, Sainz has been re-signed by Red Bull for the 2017 season on the understanding he will stay with the Toro Rosso team, though speculation has linked the Spaniard to a 'loan' deal with Red Bull's engine partner Renault for its factory effort.
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Though Sainz has previously denied being in discussion with Renault, ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost alluded to talks having taken place in Italian publication Tuttosport
, even if he said he was 'not interested' in letting the youngster go.
Sainz has now suggested that Renault have indeed approached Red Bull about his contractual situation, but while he says it is an 'honour' to be considered by a manufacturer team, he gives little indication that he will be switching teams in 2017.
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“If there is some discussion going on, there has been some interest and contacts which for me is an honour that a manufacturer team is worried about me and wants to know my contractual situation,” he said. “Red Bull, they guide your career, they paid for 5 years of my junior series, which is millions of euros and I perfectly understand why they don't want to let me go having spent so much money on me and me being in the best moment of my career.
“Of course I am aware a bit about what is going but I don't know the details of what is happening because I am focused on this season
“It is an honour to have interest from a manufacturer team that wants me to develop the car and create good base for the future. My main target and objective is to in 2018 be fighting for the world championship and hopefully that will be with Red Bull.”
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Though Renault is considered a potentially attractive option given its anticipated investment as a manufacturer team, in the short term Sainz says he would feel more comfortable at Toro Rosso.
“At the moment I have full trust in Toro Rosso that they are going to produce a good chassis for next year because if there was any doubt, Singapore proved Toro Rosso is probably the third or fourth best chassis on the grid.
“As for Renault, I don't have enough information that they are going to perform next year or if it is going to take 2 years or 3 years.”
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