Sections of the Spanish media, anticipating that Daniel Ricciardo's move to Renault for 2019 might herald Carlos Sainz' return to the Red Bull fold and a seat alongside Max Verstappen, are claiming that the Dutch youngster would veto such a move.
Not so, claims Helmut Marko.
Sainz and Verstappen made their F1 debuts with Toro Rosso in 2015, the Dutch youngster ending the season with 49 points while the Spaniard accrued just 18. However, while Verstappen suffered just two technical DNFs, Sainz suffered seven. In qualifying, the Spaniard out-qualified his teammate by 10 to 8.
Both retained by Toro Rosso for 2016, Verstappen out-qualified Sainz 3 - 1, scoring 13 points to the Spaniard's 4, before being promoted to the seat alongside Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull. The rest, as they say, is history.
Asked about claims that Verstappen might veto Sainz' move to Red Bull, Marko told Diario Sport: "The rumours that point to the veto of Verstappen towards Sainz are crap.
"Red Bull is the one who decides about the driver line-up," he added.
"Daniel called me on Thursday to inform me of the decision to leave the team at the end of the season," he said of Ricciardo's shock move to Renault. "He spent most of his career at Red Bull and told me he wanted a change, that's fine. Now we will have to think about who Max Verstappen's team-mate will be."
With Pierre Gasly thought to be favourite for the Red Bull drive, Sainz is now widely linked with a switch to McLaren, possibly alongside countryman Fernando Alonso.