Carlos Sainz doesn't regret Toro Rosso comments but keen to talk
Toro Rosso driver "surprised" by Horner and Marko's criticism, but keen to stress commitment to Red Bull
By James Galloway at Red Bull Ring
Last Updated: 18/07/17 12:18pm
Carlos Sainz says he will welcome talks with Red Bull's bosses in the wake of a stinging response to comments he made about his Toro Rosso future.
Sainz said in Thursday's Drivers' Press Conference at the Austrian GP that, if he was not promoted to the senior Red Bull team for 2018, it was "unlikely" he will stay at junior squad Toro Rosso for a fourth season.
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But his comments did not go down well with Christian Honer and Helmut Marko, who both reacted angrily in interviews with Sky Sports on Friday.
Horner, Red Bull's team principal, called Sainz's remarks "disingenuous", while Marko, who oversees the company's young driver programme, suggested the Spaniard was "confused".
Speaking on Friday evening, Sainz admitted he was a little taken aback by the nature of the response, particularly as he says he was just speaking honestly.
"Everything has been thrown a bit out of proportion," Sainz told reporters. "What I said yesterday was nothing strange I believe. As an ambitious driver, it's very clear that my first goal in life is to become a Red Bull driver and start fighting for podiums with them.
"I owe them everything. I owe to Toro Rosso and the people there everything I know in Formula 1 at the moment, but I have ambitions and the ambition is to be a Red Bull driver one day. Hopefully sooner rather than later, but that's it."
He added: "Maybe the word 'unlikely' can be interpreted in many different ways but what I said is it would be a strange situation to be a fourth year with Toro Rosso."
Asked if he will talk with Horner and Marko, Sainz said: "I will for sure. I have no problem with speaking with them because I only have positive things about Red Bull, my commitment to Red Bull, and what I want in life with Red Bull.
"I have nothing to regret. I said something very clear."
Horner said Red Bull, who manage the Toro Rosso driver contracts, have already notified Sainz that they have taken their option up on him for 2018.
The 22-year-old believes he will be better severed in future by keeping thoughts on his future in-house.
"I see what happened and how everything developed," added Sainz.
"I was a bit surprised if you can put it that way. But it's something that sometimes happens in Formula 1, I will learn from it, and from now onwards it will stay a bit more internal."
How the saga unfolded
- Thursday pm: Sainz reveals in driver's press conference it is 'unlikely' he will remain at Toro Rosso in 2018 if a promotion to the senior Red Bull team does not materialise.
- Friday am: Christian Horner says Red Bull have taken the option to extend Sainz's contract and describes his comments as
- Friday pm: Sainz maintains he is ready to make a step up from Toro Rosso.
- Friday pm: Helmut Marko insists Red Bull decide driver's future and says Sainz is
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