AIMING FOR PROMOTION: Toro Rosso driver, Carlos Sainz Jnr, believes that if team mate Max Verstappen can make the jump to Red Bull, he could follow suit. Image: Facebook
Cape Town - Max Verstappen's mid-season promotion to Red Bull Racing is not necessarily a blow to his now former Toro Rosso team mate, Carlos Sainz.
That is the view of the Spaniard himself, although some might forgive Sainz for being disappointed it was not him who was selected to replace Daniil Kvyat.
READ: Kvyat F1 future in doubt after Russian GP 'disaster'
The 21-year-old told the Spanish broadcaster TVE: "If he (Max) has risen to Red Bull, I have the hope that I can do it too. The season is very long."
Sainz might get the call
Indeed, Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko has warned that the cards may be shuffled again at the end of the season, amid reports Ferrari has its eye on Daniel Ricciardo.
Dani Jundadella, a former Red Bull junior, told Spain's El Confidencial at the DTM season opener: "It is clear that everyone loves to rave about Verstappen. But I think Carlos has shown a lot more maturity in many moments."
And former Formula 1 driver Pedro de la Rosa agreed with Sainz that he should see Verstappen's sudden promotion as a positive thing.
De la Rosa is quoted by El Mundo Deportivo newspaper, as saying: "It's a great opportunity for Carlos.
"It's a sign that Red Bull believes strongly in the Toro Rosso drivers. The opportunity went to Verstappen, but it could have been Sainz, as well."
And now, Sainz will have the opportunity to test himself against new team mate Kvyat, who has gone head-to-head with Ricciardo for more than a season.
De la Rosa added: "I think the last thing he should do is change his strategy or his mindset.
"He has shown that he is a very mature driver, we have seen flashes of what he can do but he was also very unlucky, but sooner or later that luck evens out."