Carlos Sainz Jr has emerged as a possible candidate for Caterham thanks to the team’s relationship with Red Bull – and a deal has been discussed for the Spaniard to race as early as this season.
Sainz Jr, his father and Dr Helmut Marko were seen paying a visit to the Caterham motorhome during the course of the Silverstone weekend.
Giving Sainz some race mileage now, prior to a full season at Caterham or possible move to STR for 2015, would be a logical step. However, a senior Red Bull source said that in the short term the company wants Sainz Jr to focus on winning the Renault 3.5 series, which he currently leads after nine of 17 rounds – although none of the remaining races clash with the F1 calendar.
It’s worth remembering that in 2011 Red Bull placed Daniel Ricciardo at HRT in the middle of his Renault 3.5 season, in a deal brokered by current Caterham advisor Colin Kolles.
Caterham has long used a Red Bull gearbox, and next year it will be the only team using a Renault power unit alongside RBR and Scuderia Toro Rosso. The departure of Lotus to Mercedes for 2015 allows Red Bull to forge closer links with Renault F1’s Viry base, and Caterham is in turn moving closer to RBR.