Red Bull junior racer and current Formula Renault 3.5 championship leader Carlos Sainz Jr. has confirmed that he has held talks with Caterham over the possibility of a Formula One drive in the second half of 2014.
Sainz Jr. was linked with a move to Caterham earlier this week, following the change in management at the team, and the Spaniard has now admitted that a possible move with the Leafield-based outfit is being discussed.
“Yes, it is true that there have been talks with [Caterham],” the 19-year-old told Spanish Newspaper AS. “But there is nothing confirmed.”
While the Spaniard maintains his main focus remains on progressing to a seat at Red Bull junior squad Toro Rosso, he says he would be happy to make his F1 bow with Caterham with an aim to gain experience, if an agreement can be reached.
“It doesn’t change anything for me because my goal remains the same: to be at Toro Rosso in the future,” he added. “If for that to happen I pass through Caterham then I do so happily.
“Getting F1 kilometres under your belt always helps, no matter how good the team is. If they have considered it for me, it’s a good sign that I’m doing things right.
“It has been possible to race this year [in FR3.5], but Red Bull is the one who decides. They and Caterham must also benefit and reach an agreement.”
Sainz Jr. currently leads the Formula Renault 3.5 championship by 33 points, and insists he would complete his campaign with DAMS even if he did manage to secure a Caterham drive, with none of the remaining rounds of the series clashing with the Formula 1 calendar.
“I have an amazing opportunity to win the Formula Renault 3.5 series and I am excited to be the first Red Bull driver to get this,” he added. “I want to finish this season whatever happens.”
Caterham currently has both Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson on its books, so it remains to be seen who the Spaniard would replace if he were to get the drive.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic