Oct.20 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Even now crowned the new Formula Renault 3.5 champion, Carlos Sainz jr is still in the dark about his F1 future.
Clearly the cream of Red Bull’s hopeful clan of young development drivers, the 20-year-old is in the running to replace Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso in 2015.
But with the 17-year-old Max Verstappen already signed up, it is clear that team boss Franz Tost and owner Dietrich Mateschitz think keeping the experienced Jean-Eric Vergne on board might be the smarter play.
F1 legend Alain Prost agrees with them.
“Yes,” he told Spain’s Marca. “I would opt to stick with Vergne. Carlos is very young.”
Dr Helmut Marko, on the other hand, is believed to favour taking another risk and promoting Sainz, whose namesake and father is the world rally legend.
But even with the Renault ‘world series’ title now to his name after the Jerez finale at the weekend, Sainz admitted to Spain’s El Mundo newspaper that he is still in the dark.
“I don’t know yet. Not yet, because they haven’t called me,” he said.
“I am patient. I wish I could say ‘yes’, but I have to wait.”
Asked if Marko, the boss of the energy drink’s driver programme, has called him, Sainz admitted: “No, he has not.
“Yes, of course I am waiting. Some day he will to tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
“Everything is open,” he continued. “Hopefully I will be in formula one with Toro Rosso, because thanks to them (Red Bull) I am where I am.
“And I would stay with them. But if not, I’ll have to go on with my life. Make other goals. But for 2015 I would obviously like to be in F1,” added Sainz.
Meanwhile, the new champion of the German touring car series Marco Wittmann has secured a Toro Rosso test.
“They (BMW) have organised a formula one test at Toro Rosso for me,” the BMW works driver confirmed. “But don’t be afraid — I will stay in the DTM.”
Elsewhere among those hoping to break onto the F1 grid, Williams reserve driver Felipe Nasr admits he is “upset” to have missed out on this year’s GP2 title to Jolyon Palmer.
But Brazil’s Globo claims it is possible that, with the help of his sponsor Banco do Brasil, the 22-year-old might have a chance to debut in 2015 with Lotus or Sauber.
“For next year the plan is to be in formula one,” Nasr confirmed. “With my manager we have started some negotiations. We are talking to some teams,” he added.