Tost: Red Bull reluctant to let Sainz go after paying for his career

2018 F1 season

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Carlos Sainz Jnr’s team principal Franz Tost has added his voice to the debate surrounding the driver’s future.

Sainz said yesterday it was “unlikely” he would remain at Toro Rosso for a fourth season in 2018. However Red Bull team principal Christian Horner insisted Sainz will remain at their junior outfit next year and described the 22-year-old’s comments as “disingenuous”.

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Tost said Red Bull are unwilling to let Sainz go having backed his career for so long.

“First of all this is not a decision for Carlos Sainz,” said Tost in today’s FIA press conference. “He has a Red Bull contract and Red Bull decides what they will do in the future.”

“I’m a little bit confused about this discussion at this stage of the year because Red Bull has paid and financed the complete career of Carlos Sainz. They paid his Formula BMW season, Formula Renault, the Formula Three, GP3, 3.5 with the World Series and three years in Formula One.”

“Why Red Bull should give him away now to any other opponent when they educated him to quite a high level? I think the reality should in Formula One play an important game. It’s a decision of Red Bull.”

If Sainz does remain at Toro Rosso for another season he will become the first driver to race for them over four consecutive years. Sebastien Buemi drove for them for three years between 2009 and 2011.

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    Sainz and Daniil Kvyat were Red Bull-backed team mates seven years ago in Formula BMW

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    31 comments on “Tost: Red Bull reluctant to let Sainz go after paying for his career”

    1. Slave in a golden castle

      1. Sainz signed a contract. What does the contract say? That’s all that matters really.

        1. Not at all really @john-h. Clearly Sainz is unhappy, he wanted to go to Renault, they wouldn’t let him go. Red Bull is not offering him any prospects of a career perspective (since both Max and Dan are tied up for a long term too).
          If the driver is unhappy where he is, there’s not much to gain from putting him in your car. To me this looks rather lik hard ball negotiating using the media to get the other side to move from their position. Probably to come towards a reasonable payoff to terminate the contract

      2. GtisBetter (@)
        7th July 2017, 22:33

        I’m not sure you know what slave means

    2. While I agree that Sainz has somewhat bitten the hand the feeds him, I can’t really blame him for not wanting to stay at Toro Rosso. At what point does he stop being ‘a young driver’ and actually make the step to another team.

      I feel like the purpose of have a junior team in F1, undermines a drivers junior category success. The guy has made it to F1 yet he’s still having to be scrutinised and assessed as if he was still competing in lower formula. Toro Rosso themselves aren’t even really there to compete, but to act as another ‘trial’ to see if a driver is good enough. Obviously the more teams in F1, the better but it makes you wonder if they should not just sponsor their drivers in F2 like the other junior programs.

      I have nothing against the Red Bull young driver program itself, I just feel like it shouldn’t competing in F1 the same way ‘B teams’ in football aren’t allowed to compete in same division as the main team. They’re essentially running with 4 drivers while every other team is running with 2.

    3. Well, Franz, if you treat people like 21st century slaves then, instead of complaining, just let us know the amount of money the new “owner” should have to pay to get Sainz. Simple.

      1. A motorsports fan
        9th July 2017, 8:21

        Signing a contract in complete freedom amounts to ‘slavery’ if you don’t like the consequences of your signature? That’s absurd. Sainz can break that contract any time he wants too. But the consequences are probably beyond his liking.

        Red Bull is not too happy about the Sainz family planting false rumours on Verstappen and Ferrari either. What Sainz is attempting is to ruin the atmosphere to induce a break-up. Other teams will love to have a driver like that.

    4. I think its funny the managers have taken this view, or are saying these things, because I’d bet anything that Sainz made the comment due to TR drivers typically being sacked after 3 years, not because he was looking somewhere else.

      1. That was my first thought as well.

      2. Wel, the thing is that Carlos actually has a contract for 2018 (with an option for 2019). I’m not sure if other Toro Rosso drivers actually had a contract before they were sacked (Bourdais I guess, who was kicked in the middle of the 2009 season). So the situation isn’t exactly the same.

        1. Exactly, he signed a contract!! I like the guy but he should take responsibility for his actions. That’s what being an adult is.

          1. @john-h Yes that’s right! You have a contract with your employer and it only states “John H will work for company X until the end of 2018”. Nothing more right? No salary, no company car, nothing, right?

            A contract is not just a one-sided obligation. It usually also has a performance clause and an option that if a better ranked team wants him, he is free to leave after x years.

            1. To be honest, I don’t know what his contract says but judging from comments by Red Bull he can’t move until 2019.

              Mine says I can give a month’s notice and leave @addvariety . That’s what I signed.

            2. @john-h That’s my point exactly. I know what you mean, but if Sainz really did sign a 3 year contract with a one-sided option for another 2 years, without any additional clauses for himself, like the mentioned “month’s notice” he’d be stuck indeed. And if that’s the case, it’s a really, really, REALLY dumb move of him and his manager.

        2. @casjo, I get the impression that is in part because Toro Rosso tend to hire their drivers on 12 month contracts. I suspect it is done because the team can easily get rid of a driver that way – if they want to get rid of them, they just refuse to renew the contract at the end of the season (note how it is almost always the case that the driver was “not retained” by the team, rather than being sacked), which is a cheaper and easier way of getting rid of a driver for them.

          In terms of drivers who broke contracts with Red Bull, Christian Klien is one who did just that. Red Bull wanted to switch him across to the Champ Car series but, as he wanted to stay in F1, he rejected the offer and went to Honda to work as their test driver (which I think technically also makes him the first driver from the Red Bull stable to have found a job at another team) – he was also perhaps fortunate as he had the option to quit rather than being forced out of the team.

          Scott Speed is another driver who was sacked from Toro Rosso, with his seat being given to Vettel in 2007. Mind you, in the case of Speed it sounds as if he had a very acrimonious relationship with the management, going as far as claiming that Tost first punched him, then grabbed him by the neck and shoved him into a wall after an argument broke out after the 2007 European GP.

          In fact, he was so fed up with the senior management that he was happy to be sacked so he could leave what he claimed was a pretty toxic environment, though he then had to spend a further three years chasing Red Bull through the law courts before he finally received an out of court settlement for the compensation he should have received when his contract was terminated.

    5. Horner: we own his ass.

    6. I have read it all. A slave on a million dollar contract until 2019 at least.
      Where do I sign?

    7. I think it is fair to say that Sainz has not proved that he is a better driver than either Ricciardo or Verstappen and thus does not deserve to be promoted to Red Bull, at least not for now. Also, a contract is a contract and both sides have to honour it – there is no doubt about that.

      However, I see at least two issues here. Firstly, Toro Rosso is a team that should not be in F1. In my opinion, a racing team that does not even aim to grow and ultimately fight for race victories and world championships is just something unnatural. Secondly, while the very best drivers usually get to the top in F1, the grid is far too small and the sport is still not a meritocracy – many drivers, who are talented enough and work hard enough to be here never make it because of lack of funding, management, contacts or whatever else. Yes, Red Bull gives young drivers opportunities they otherwise would not have but a driver like Sainz should not be forced to choose between the WEC and being owned by Dietrich Mateschitz.

      As it is very often the case, it all comes down to the money. Over to you, Liberty Media.

      1. Hit the nail in the head! Every team in one way or another, want to get to the front, but Toro Rosso

      2. Wholly agree with the point you make there about the route cause of the issue @girts.

        About the contract itself, any contract should have a way to allow for early termination. What we are now seeing seems to be the part of the negotiations about the exact details of that (money, it seems) as clearly if Sainz doesn’t want to be in the STR car, there is little to gain from obliging him to drive – except to keep him from driving for a competitor, but that’s where the contract recognition board etc will be of use. I am pretty sure there are provisions for that.

    8. I am amazed some feel it’s like modern slavery from the RB management….
      A contract is a deal between to parties, if Sainz wants out so badly there will be a fine to be payed…. as RB is a rather healthy F1 team with enough funds and probably won’t accept a driver walking out of his contract.

      We all should be very thankfull for a team like RB, they are the only ‘double’ team with 4 drivers and a clear junior team for young talents. Sainz did have a good sponsor (Cepsa) to bring along, a driver like Verstappen got a go without any sponsers… a near impossible task to get a drive withut a sponsor.

    9. To be fair to Horner and Marko. They have all the rights to keep him at TR. Yes it sucks for sainz but no one put a gun to his head and forced him to sign that contract. I don’t think he should have said that publicly now it’s a talking point and his bosses are going to have to answer questions. Bad way to get yourself promoted Sainz

    10. So they can damage his career (no guarantees he’ll have a Red Bull neither other teams would still want him) because they pay for it? Hum..

    11. this is what happens when you’re not a top gun.

    12. I personally think Sainz is being a bit immature here,

      He desperately wants to make it to the top teams that is what is going through his mind now. Maybe he feels that with a bit of extra power/better chassis, aero of the other cars he could do much better, but the bitter truth might be that he can’t.

      I have no doubt on his abilities, he is quick but on the other hand manages to make silly mistakes. Sometimes his emotion pulls him down.

      I just hope after these words from Horner and Tost that the kid won’t take it for granted. Just keep working on it and perfect yourself Sainz !!! Roar

    13. Not going to get into the legalities as they would be complex, terms and conditions on trade, performance and morality bringing the team or sport into disrepute clauses sub-clauses and more.
      The point is no matter how good his physical driving skills are if he has not got the right mental attitude he and the team are wasting time. If he is genuinely unhappy and wants or needs to move on RedBull would be mad to hold onto him.

    14. Sainz is not good enough to move up to the top 3 teams. Ocon makes a bigger impression on me. So he cannot move up. He should be happy with SRT.
      He thinks he’s much better then he really is. That’s his problem.

    15. Btw. Olaf Mol said that the Sainz family is spreading rumors about Max wanting to leave RBR through Spanish papers.
      I think when Max was at STR it was Sainz family that caused the tension inside the team. You see it happen again between Kvyat and Sainz now. Same story.
      If the Sainz family keeps going like this Sainz will loose his seat and I’m wondering who wants him with all the intrige that comes with his family.

    16. Based on this latest outburst and Sainz’s erratic driving, I would not be at all surprised if Red Bull terminate his contract – after all the other seats on the grid are filled.

      Horner and especially Marko strike me as the sort of vindictive men who would do that.

    17. Think Sainz maybe wanting to do another year at Torro Rosso as its just been reported on Sky (not confirmed but not a surprise ) that Max is wanting to leave Red Bull at the end of next season…….that could free up a seat for Sainz…..assuming of course that Vettel is not wanting a swap back………its never dull in F1

    18. Again, according to dutch insiders it’s rumours spread by Spanish papers by the Sainz family.

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