Alonso wants Sainz Jr. at Toro Rosso
6 September 2013 – Fernando Alonso is hopeful that fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr. will be given the opportunity to join the Formula 1 grid with Toro Rosso next season, following the news that Daniel Ricciardo is to replace Mark Webber at the senior Red Bull outfit.
Sainz Jr. is one of six drivers on Red Bull's dedicated junior team, and is currently competing in the feeder GP3 category. The 19-year-old also tested for both Toro Rosso and the current title holders at the recent Silverstone Young Driver Test.
"It’s very good news that Daniel has signed [for Red Bull], also for our country because it has opened up a good possibility for Carlos Sainz Jr. to join Toro Rosso," explained two-time World Champion Alonso. "That was the best news for us."
But despite Alonso's optimism, Formula Renault 3.5 racer António Félix da Costa – another contracted to the Austrian drinks company – remains at the top of the list to replace Ricciardo, providing the second half of his current campaign goes to plan.
And Sainz Jr. himself was quick to state after his aforementioned Formula 1 test outings that he does not yet feel ready to make the step up to the top echelon.
"This test is a big boost for my confidence, and a spur to keep pushing in all areas. But I'm still young and there is no way I will go to Formula 1 next year," he said.
"There's no rush. I'm patient. I know that there is still a long way to go and that just doing a Formula 1 test does not mean I'm going to be a Formula 1 driver."