DECEMBER 21, 2016
Red Bull did not consider Sainz release
Carlos Sainz says his Red Bull bosses didn't even contemplate letting him go to Mercedes for 2017.
The British press in particular had identified the Toro Rosso-racing Spaniard as an obvious candidate to replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes.
"That makes me proud because I know how difficult it is to make a name in F1, particular with the English press," the 22-year-old told Marca sports newspaper.
"Sooner or later my time will come, because after all the ups and downs, like this year not going to Renault as well, we are in a good position. So I go into 2017 with all the desire," added Sainz.
Sainz said he understands why Red Bull was reluctant to release him to Mercedes.
"I also don't think Mercedes, with all its German pride, would steal a driver from Red Bull. Because it would say that their own youth programme doesn't work," he said.
On the other hand, Sainz thinks that with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen locked into the senior team for some time, he has a chance of a move to a big team for 2018.
"I've talked to them and I know that if a good offer comes in 2017 it will be considered. I don't know if they'll let me go or not, but they will consider it -- unlike this year when they did not," he said.
Meanwhile, as he returned to his native Australia for Christmas, Ricciardo also ruled himself out of the running for Mercedes.
"I've got two more years at Red Bull. That's where I'm going to be," he told AAP news agency on Wednesday.
"There's a lot of people that are tempted to jump into that seat, and you don't blame them. I just hope whoever gets it appreciates it. It's a damn good one."