Ryan Wood  |    |   0  |  15 December 2016

Christian Horner rules out letting Carlos Sainz move to Mercedes

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has ruled out letting Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz move to Mercedes to replace the retired Nico Rosberg next season.

Sainz has emerged as a possible candidate to replace the current world champion, having impressed during the latter stages of the 2016 season against Daniil Kvyat, whilst also holding his own against Max Verstappen in the opening four races.

The Spaniard is however tied into a long-term deal with Red Bull, and although it includes a buy-out clause, it's unlikely Sainz can raise enough funds to break free, despite the lure of a top team seat.

Horner meanwhile has ruled out any move, insisting he wouldn't want to help out their main rival by gifting them one of their assets.

"Why would we do that?" Horner told the BBC. "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."

Horner suggests Mercedes would be wise to promote a younger driver as Red Bull have often done.

"You give these guys a chance," added Horner. "Let's see what people can do in a front-running car.

"If they did take Wehrlein or Bottas, both are probably capable of running right at the front, you just don't know until you give them the chance, which is what we did with Sebastian Vettel, and Daniel Ricciardo."

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