“We had no opportunity to offer him more”– Red Bull discloses what convinced Carlos Sainz to leave the programme and seek a new team.
Photos of Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen in Toro Rosso appeared in numbers after they shared the podium in Monaco. It is a known fact that they both came from the same programme and started their Formula 1 career with Red Bull’s sister team.
Soon, Verstappen got the nod and was promoted to pair with Daniel Ricciardo when a seat in Red Bull got vacant. On the other hand, Sainz was left in Toro Rosso, with little scope of a promotion.
“We did not send Sainz away and it is not for nothing that we were once very early to sign him,” Marko told German publication Formel 1. Verstappen and Sainz were very well matched, but we had no opportunity to offer him more [than a place at Toro Rosso].
“He was not convinced of the prospects at Toro Rosso. He felt he was not moving forward, and he did not want to wait any longer. We first loaned him out and then we canceled the contract completely. After all, we did not want to stand in the way of his future.”
Max Verstappen justified his promotion.
The Dutch race driver was an instant success in F1 and was considered a prodigy since he started challenging the veterans for podium even before he turned 20, and now he is considered the second-best driver in the current grid.
“At that time [2015 and early 2016] we were very strong, but in Max we saw the strongest driver,” Marko explained. “That is why the choice fell on Verstappen at the time. I think that the results that Verstappen subsequently showed more than justify that decision.”
Carlos Sainz faced more setbacks
Sainz was then employed by Renault and got paired with Nico Hulkenberg, where he didn’t have an impactful stint but was still impressed with his performances.
However, Daniel Ricciardo’s arrival at Renault forced Sainz to leave the French team. In the end, his childhood idol Fernando Alonso came in as a blessing.
The Spaniard had decided to leave F1 and ply his trade in IndyCar, leaving a vacancy for Sainz, and Ross Brawn wasted no time to hire Sainz. From there, the 26-year-old driver only saw an upward trajectory to his career, earning him a move to Ferrari.