Carlos Sainz has warned Red Bull that he won’t be the “third one” for too long, they either have to promote him to the senior team or let him go.
Next season the Spaniard at Toro Rosso for a third season as Red Bull used their option on him.
They were, however, unable to promote him to the senior team as both Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen have contracts in place.
And with the Red Bull pairing set to stay on until at least the end of 2018, if not longer, Sainz says there will come a time when he may need to leave the Red Bull family.
“Unfortunately for me, they look pretty happy with the pair they have,” he told Autosport.
“It’s good to have a third driver like me waiting there in case something happens, but I cannot spend my whole life being the just in case option for Red Bull.
“They understand this and I’m convinced they know, that’s why next year is an important year for me to hopefully create a good base and move up if Red Bull is willing to take me.
“It would be a great pleasure, if not I’m sure they will understand I cannot spend my life being the third one.”
Red Bull still have an option on Sainz for the 2018 season but this time the Toro Rosso driver insists he will have a great say in what he wants to do.
“It depends on them if they want to exercise that option but it will also depend on me if I also want to do another year in Toro Rosso,” he said.
“At the end they perfectly understand I have high targets, important targets in my mind for 2018 and it will be discussed.
“Like everything in life, like every contract in every Formula 1 driver, yes they have an option they can execute whenever they want.
“But I will play an important role and will also decide it, it will not all be about them.”