Red Bull boss Christian Horner has talked down the possibility of Carlos Sainz moving to Mercedes as Nico Rosberg's replacement in 2017, stating the move would make no sense for his team.
Carlos Sainz is currently contracted to Red Bull and signed a deal in June to race for its feeder team Toro Rosso in 2017. At the time it was to fend off interest from Ferrari who were searching for a potential replacement for Kimi Raikkonen but after Rosberg's shock retirement from F1 Mercedes is now searching for a new driver.
Sainz was instantly placed on the shortlist alongside Fernando Alonso, Valtteri Bottas and Pascal Wehrlein and it has been speculated as a move which would suit all parties with Sainz's current path to Red Bull blocked by Daniel Ricciardo and former team-mate Max Verstappen.
However, Red Bull team principal says he won't be considering any potential offer by Mercedes for the Spanish driver and says he already has a contract which he is obliged to fulfil.
"Why would we do that? Carlos has done a great job. He is a Red Bull driver,” Horner told the BBC
. “We have invested in him to get him into F1 and they are all on long-term contracts so it wouldn't make any sense to feed one of your main opponents with one of your assets.
"They will know the contractual situations of the drivers they are involved with but their choices are pretty limited."
Nico Rosberg retires! And 10 other 'I wasn't expecting that' F1 moments
With Fernando Alonso effectively ruling himself out of a Mercedes switch earlier this week, Mercedes options appear to be slimming with the recent rejection by Williams on Bottas and Red Bull on Sainz. Mercedes factory driver Wehrlein is still yet to secure his F1 future for 2017 having spent the season at Manor.
QUIZ: Which F1 team should you drive for?
Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst