May 9 (GMM) Max Verstappen’s mid-season promotion to Red Bull Racing is not necessarily a blow to his now former Toro Rosso teammate Carlos Sainz.
That is the view of the Spaniard himself, although some might forgive Sainz for being disappointed it was not him who was selected to replace Daniil Kvyat.
“If he (Max) has risen to Red Bull, I have the hope that I can do it too. The season is very long,” the 21-year-old told the Spanish broadcaster TVE.
Indeed, Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko has warned that the cards may be shuffled again at the end of the season, amid reports Ferrari has its eye on Daniel Ricciardo.
“It is clear that everyone loves to rave about Verstappen,” Dani Jundadella, a former Red Bull junior, told Spain’s El Confidencial at the DTM season opener.
“But I think Carlos has shown a lot more maturity in many moments.”
And former F1 driver Pedro de la Rosa agreed with Sainz that he should see Verstappen’s sudden promotion as a positive thing.
“It’s a great opportunity for Carlos,” he is quoted by El Mundo Deportivo newspaper.
“It’s a sign that Red Bull believes strongly in the Toro Rosso drivers,” added de la Rosa. “The opportunity went to Verstappen, but it could have been Sainz as well.”
And now, Sainz will have the opportunity to test himself against new teammate Kvyat, who has gone head-to-head with Ricciardo for more than a season.
“I think the last thing he should do is change his strategy or his mindset,” de la Rosa said.
“He has shown that he is a very mature driver, we have seen flashes of what he can do but he was also very unlucky, but sooner or later that luck evens out.”