Tuesday 1 November at 07:35 :
Nov.1 (GMM) Renault has admitted for the first time that it tried and failed to secure Carlos Sainz for 2017 and beyond.
It is an open paddock secret that the French works team made a move for the Spaniard, apparently even offering to ease the price of its engine deals with Red Bull if the energy drink team released him from Toro Rosso.
"In the end, Red Bull didn't let him go. They wanted one more year," Sainz's famous father Carlos Sainz said recently.
That information is now finally being confirmed by Renault, who have instead signed Nico Hulkenberg for 2017 and are currently weighing up which driver to pair him with next year.
"We made every effort for Sainz," a Renault spokesman told the Spanish newspaper AS.
"We wanted him, we wanted a driver to lead our project and it would have been good to have him with us," the spokesman added.
The Renault official confirmed: "Red Bull did not want to let him go."
For his part, 22-year-old Sainz says he is happy to stay at Toro Rosso for 2017 but is eyeing a move elsewhere for 2018, particularly as the doors to Red Bull Racing appear closed for now.
Indeed, although officials were seen chatting with Sebastian Vettel recently, team boss Christian Horner said there is no room for the Ferrari driver for now.
"We are confident in our drivers for the next two years so there's no room for Seb," he said.