Sainz set to be Red Bull Racing reserve in 2017 – Marko

Carlos Sainz Jr is next in line to race with Red Bull in 2017, according to Helmut Marko - Credit: Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Red Bull Racing would call upon the services of Carlos Sainz Jr should anything happen to either Daniel Ricciardo or Max Verstappen in 2017, according to advisor Helmut Marko.

Pierre Gasly has been earmarked to be the official reserve driver for both Red Bull and Scuderia Toro Rosso, but Marko revealed that Sainz, himself racing for Toro Rosso would be first in line to race for Red Bull, with Gasly likely to slide into the Spaniard’s seat alongside Daniil Kvyat.

Sainz will be competing in his third season of Formula 1 in 2017 with Toro Rosso, having made his debut at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, and enjoyed his best season to date last year when he finished twelfth in the championship, finishing sixth three times across the year.

Marko insists it is important for a team to have reserve drivers, especially in the fact that the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team did not have an automatic back-up for when Nico Rosberg retired at the end of the 2016 season.

“We have a long term contract with Carlos and the situation at Mercedes shows how important it is to have reserve drivers,” said Marko to Spanish publication AS.

“Sainz is clearly our reserve driver in case anything happens at Red Bull Racing.”