Carlos Sainz says Max Verstappen promotion was a 'difficult moment'
Carlos Sainz admits missing out on a promotion to Red Bull, who instead chose his then team-mate Max Verstappen, was a "difficult moment" in his career – more difficult than some probably realised.
Whilst much of the sympathy went toward Daniil Kvyat, who was demoted to Toro Rosso after just four races of the 2016 season, Sainz says the switch also hit him as not only did he feel as though he was overlooked, but he had to raise his game to avoid looking bad against Kvyat whilst negotiations over a new contract were ongoing.
"I tried to show a lot of strength but it was a difficult moment, obviously, because you don't like being overlooked by someone," the Spaniard told Autosport.
"People talked about how difficult it was for Kyvat but people thought it was easy for me also, " he added. "They didn't take into account that it was also a difficult moment for me, that I had to react and I had to suddenly catch the attention of Red Bull.
"I said to myself, 'I will prove you wrong' and then my best three races in Formula 1 came directly after that and a contract arrived in Baku and I signed it immediately."
Sainz believes had he not upped his game, it would have put his F1 career in jeopardy.
"It would have been quite tricky for me suddenly to do not such a good job against Kyvat," he explained. "It could have put my F1 career in a tricky situation so I was under a lot of pressure and I performed at my best level."