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Tuesday 21 February at 07:35
Sainz is Red Bull 'reserve driver' - Marko
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Tuesday 21 February at 07:35 : Feb.21 (GMM) Red Bull is clinging to its "reserve driver" Carlos Sainz, according to the energy drink marque's Dr Helmut Marko.

Some are raising their eyebrows after Renault, who earlier made a bid to sign Spaniard Sainz for 2017, unveiled a new F1 sponsorship deal with Spanish company Mapfre.

"Historical affinities between Renault, F1 and Spain are once more alive thanks to this partnership," said team boss Cyril Abiteboul.

Sainz, 22, impressed particularly in 2016, but despite Renault's interest Red Bull is insisting upon its contract with the Spaniard and keeping him at the junior team Toro Rosso.

The Spanish daily AS quotes Red Bull driver manager Marko as saying: "We have a long term contract with Carlos and the situation at Mercedes shows how important it is to have reserve drivers.

"Sainz is clearly our reserve driver in case anything happens at Red Bull Racing," he added.

After a season with year-old Ferrari engines, Toro Rosso is moving to up-to-date Renault power for 2017, and technically closer to Red Bull in other areas as well.

Marko explained: "Toro Rosso has to achieve better results so we have the target of fifth place for them in 2017.

"With a good designer like James Key they have the potential, and we see it as positive that both drivers (Sainz and Daniil Kvyat) are staying because that provides stability.

"They are a good mid-table team and what Carlos was offered (by Renault) was no better than that, or worse," Marko added.
RELATED NEWS ITEMS
15-08 'No intention' of breaking contract - Sainz
18-07 Sainz plays down chances of Hungary team switch
17-07 Red Bull to consider Sainz release - Horner
15-07 Another year at Toro Rosso 'positive' - Sainz
10-07 Red Bull takes up option on Sainz contract
08-07 Sainz hits back after Red Bull rebuke
24-06 McLaren admits Sainz 'an option' for 2018
 
NEXT RACE 26 March 2017
Grand Prix of Australia (5,303 m)
Melbourne, Albert Park Circuit
Last Winner: Nico Rosberg
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Sunday - race
16:00

Friday - practice 1

Friday - practice 2

Saturday - practice 3

Saturday - qualification

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