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Red Bull Motosports Consultant Dr. Helmut Marko and Carlos Sainz talk in Spielberg, Austria on November 28th, 2014

Marko: Sainz is confused and should focus on driving

Red Bull Motosports Consultant Dr. Helmut Marko and Carlos Sainz talk in Spielberg, Austria on November 28th, 2014

Carlos Sainz has clearly annoyed his Red Bull paymasters, by suggesting he will be moving away from Toro Rosso, the organisation’s junior team, if he is not promoted to the senior team for 2018.

Sainz said during the drivers’ press conference on Thursday, “My number one target is to be with Red Bull next year, fighting for podiums and wins. I am going to keep pushing for this. If that doesn’t happen, a fourth year at Toro Rosso is unlikely.”

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A day later Red Bull chief Christian Horner scoffed at the idea, “We’ve taken the option on Carlos Sainz and he will be in a Toro Rosso next year. It makes no sense loaning him out. I don’t know where he thinks he’ll be. It’s a bit disingenuous saying stuff like that. Without Red Bull he wouldn’t be in Formula 1.”

Now the organisation’s driver boss Helmut Marko has weighed in and also had a swipe at Sainz and his minders, telling Sky Sport, “I think he is a little bit confused. I see it in his driving, he came off today and has done other mistakes already this season.”

“The contract is crystal clear. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you. It was Mr Mateschitz and I who pushed Sainz into Toro Rosso, nobody else would give him a chance.”

“We sent him a letter saying that we take the option. As far as I know, and as long as I have been in Red Bull, the driver doesn’t decide what they are doing with the contract. It is up to the boss and they make the decisions. I think he should focus on driving. Kvyat has out-qualified him the last couple of races.”

“I told him that when Ferrari come we can talk. But I met Gino [Rosato] and Maurizio Arrivabene last Saturday and they didn’t mention anything about going for Sainz. Maybe it is the father who is dreaming more,” added Marko.

During the first day of free practice in Austria, home track of Red Bull, Sainz told Sky Sport, “I am not going to close the door on any opportunity. I am definitely ready to take a step forward in my career. I am ready. I am not closing any doors and we will see what happens.”

Big Question: Is Sainz in danger of cutting off the hand that feeds him?

What Horner had to say on the matter:

Sainz: A fourth year in Toro Rosso is unlikely