Carlos Sainz has admitted to some nervousness about Red Bull's F1 crisis. The energy drink company has threatened to pull both of its teams out of the sport because, as things stand, it cannot find a competitive alternative to its underpowered Renault engines.
That is despite the fact that Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso are actually committed contractually to F1 through 2020. "Well, as Bernie Ecclestone would say, circumstances change," team boss Christian Horner insists, "and circumstances now are very different."
Red Bull's quit threat - although it has been heard before - is being taken more seriously this time, as the two teams are genuinely without engine deals less than five months before pre-season testing for 2016 is due to begin. Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that, if the two teams do go, it is now too late for rival teams to roll out a 'third car' scenario in time for the 2016 season opener.
And at the same time, the talented quartet of Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz are nervously waiting to know if they will have a cockpit to sit in. "I'm calm," Spaniard Sainz told Marca sports newspaper this week, "as the team is happy with me."
Like his Red Bull colleagues, the 21-year-old said he is sure a solution will eventually be found. "In any case, it would be good to know soon so that the team can design the back of the car," said Sainz. "Every day that passes is one less day of development."
He admitted that the most likely option is a Ferrari deal, which would mean more power for Toro Rosso compared to its current Renault engine. "I imagine yes," said Sainz, "and we could have a good car next year as well. If we continue with how we have gone this year, with perhaps a little better engine we could give a real surprise." (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing