Sainz plays down podium hopes for 2017

Carlos Sainz has played down hopes he might record his first F1 podium this year.

The young Spaniard was so impressive in 2016 - his second season with Toro Rosso - that he was linked with a switch to Renault or even Mercedes for this year.

However, team owner Red Bull is clinging to the 22-year-old's contract, meaning Sainz's feet are grounded ahead of his third consecutive year in F1 this year.

"Talking about my first podium right now is a utopia," he told Spanish radio Cadena Cope.

Toro Rosso finished seventh overall in 2016, behind Force India, Williams and McLaren.

"To fight with McLaren will be a tall order," said Sainz, "because they have more money than us.

"Hopefully Toro Rosso will be the first behind the big four, which for me will be Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren," he added.

(GMM)

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