Sainz Jr. confirms Caterham discussions
11 July 2014 – Red Bull junior driver Carlos Sainz Jr. has confirmed that discussions have taken place with Caterham over the possibility of him stepping up to Formula 1 in the second half of the 2014 campaign.
While the 19-year-old Spaniard, who leads the Formula Renault 3.5 championship with DAMS, says his main goal is to secure a seat at Toro Rosso, he would be open to the idea of gaining further experience elsewhere.
Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson currently race for the Leafield-based outfit, which was taken over by a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors in the run up to the British Grand Prix weekend.
"It is true that there have been talks and that we have spoken to them, but nothing is confirmed," Sainz Jr., who drove an F1 car for the first time at the Silverstone Young Driver Test last year, told Spanish newspaper AS.
"This does not affect me because my goal remains the same: to be at Toro Rosso in the future. If to do that I have to go to Caterham before then I will happily go there. It was possible to contest a race this year, but it is Red Bull which decides this. They and Caterham must also have benefits and be convinced by the agreement."
Sainz Jr. went on to make it clear that if Red Bull and Caterham were to come to an agreement, he would still complete the Formula Renault 3.5 season as none of the remaining rounds clash with the Formula 1 roster.
"I have an amazing opportunity to win the Formula Renault 3.5 series and I am excited to be the first Red Bull driver to get this," Sainz Jr. commented, before adding, "I want to finish this season whatever happens."
If a deal is reached, it would not be the first time that Red Bull has placed a driver with another squad. Daniel Ricciardo joined HRT midway through the 2011 season before being promoted to Toro Rosso for 2012.