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Published: Wed, November 01, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Sainz a 'safety net' if Ricciardo leaves Red Bull


Red Bull's Christian Horner says Carlos Sainz is the team's "safety net" in the event that Daniel Ricciardo moves on from the Milton Keynes-based team at the end of next year. Ricciardo will be in the final season of a five-year deal in 2018 and has been linked to Mercedes and Ferrari in media speculation. But he knows the intent very clearly, and I've discussed it with him, is that we want him in the team. Verstappen, who won his second race of the season and third of his career, added: "I could see a lot of cars blowing up and retiring so I was definitely a bit anxious".

Ricciardo is now fourth in the championship standings having notched one win and eight other podium placings this season while Verstappen, who won the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday, is sixth.

"If we can get the vehicle back to what we had before Qualifying then I think we can still fight for a podium tomorrow, but this is confusing and we really need to understand what happened in the last hour".

Red Bull knows it has an aerodynamically efficient auto but in Mexico is was not as hampered in the power stakes because the spread between the different engines was narrowed by the air density. While the former champions have won three times this year and taken more points than Ferrari in recent races, they have also suffered frequent failures.

"The altitude, as we have seen in the last couple of seasons, has been a bit of a leveller on that front".

"I think Daniel could have been at least third", said Horner.

Max Verstappen said he put all his bad luck behind him with his determined drive to a crushing triumph for Red Bull in Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix.

"That's why we kept Carlos Sainz on loan, that's why we have options around us", Horner told via Reuters. "We have a safety net but our number one objective is to retain the pairing that we have", he said.

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