Horner dismisses Sainz link to vacant Mercedes seat

Carlos Sainz Jr has been linked to the Mercedes drive - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Christian Horner would reject any advances from the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team to take Carlos Sainz Jr away from Scuderia Toro Rosso, should the Spaniard be on the German team’s radar following Nico Rosberg’s retirement.

Sainz had a strong 2016, finishing sixth on three occasions and finishing twelfth in the championship standings despite Toro Rosso running with an undeveloped 2015 Ferrari power unit.

Sainz’s name has been thrown into the hat to replace the retiring World Champion, but Red Bull Racing boss Horner insists that the Spaniard still has a big part to play in Red Bull’s future and that he will be a Toro Rosso driver again in 2017 alongside Daniil Kvyat.

“Why would we do that?” said Horner on bbc.co.uk. “Carlos has done a great job. He is a Red Bull driver.

“We have invested in him to get him into F1 and they are all on long-term contracts so it wouldn’t make any sense to feed one of your main opponents with one of your assets.”

Valtteri Bottas is currently the bookies favourite to land the vacant Mercedes drive while the 2016 Mercedes test driver Pascal Wehrlein also remains in contention, with Mercedes looking to make the announcement of Rosberg’s replacement early in the New Year.