Sainz: Renault swap rumours 'extraordinary'
Carlos Sainz Jr believes it would be "strange" and "extraordinary" if Toro Rosso opted to trade him to Renault in return for cut-price power units, as has been rumoured.
Although Toro Rosso only recently confirmed Sainz would drive for the team for next season, speculation has surfaced ahead of the British Grand Prix that a deal with Renault involving reduced engine prices was potentially on the cards.
Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost told Autosport the suggestion was "complete nonsense", while Renault has made clear "there are no grounds to the rumour" and said it had fully agreed its 2017 engine terms with Toro Rosso "several months ago".
Sainz was incredulous at the thought of being swapped for cheaper engines.
"Trade me for Renault engines? Like I'm money?" said Sainz.
"I perfectly understand. That was a joke. I don't know if it's a possibility, but the situation relies on Red Bull. It'd be very strange.
"If Red Bull or Toro Rosso signed me, it's because they want me, not to trade me. Maybe they have changed their mind, but I think it'd be strange, extraordinary."
Sainz confirmed he had "heard rumours Renault would be interested", and added: "I don't know how much of it is true or not.
"If it could happen or not, I really think: no. The sole intention Red Bull had to renew my contract was to keep me, not to trade me.
"I can be quite confident and calm about my future because of that. If it happens in the end it'd be unexpected, let's put it that way."
Asked whether he would even want to go to Renault, Sainz replied: "I'm very comfortable here.
"I've a lot of support of the big bosses, which is important for me with people like Helmut Marko, Christian Horner and Franz Tost, who trust in me a lot, and it's the right place to be.
"If people trust you, and you've gained skills in Toro Rosso who next year could surprise many people with the regulations, then I'm sure it's not a bad place to be, so I'm very happy."