Carlos Sainz has dismissed suggestions that Max Verstappen vetoed a potential switch to Red Bull. A seat at the energy drink team opened up at the beginning of August when Daniel Ricciardo announced that he would be leaving the team for Renault.
Sainz, who spent three years at Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso, was loaned out to Renault for the 2018 season. However, last week McLaren confirmed that Sainz would be joining them for 2019, which will release him from Red Bull's programme.
Verstappen and Sainz were partnered at Toro Rosso a couple of years ago, with tensions rising on a number of occasions. But Sainz has denied that the Dutchman would deny Sainz a place at Red Bull: "I don't know where that comes from, because Max is one of the drivers I have the best relationship with in the paddock.
"He would never do that," he continued. "I can only be grateful to Red Bull for giving me the opportunity to reach Formula 1 and drive for different teams. The fact that I didn't end with a Red Bull seat does not mean that it will never happen."
McLaren has struggled throughout the 2018 season, but Sainz is not worried about moving to the Woking-based outfit. Despite scoring just 12 points in the last seven Grands Prix, Sainz doesn't believe that it is a backwards move for his career.
"I think it's the right place for me at the right time," Sainz insisted. "The team is being rebuilt and everything is focused on getting back to the front. I have a contract for two years, but the intention is to stay longer and achieve successes together."