Red Bull advisor Marko claims 'fast' Sainz is 'not a Verstappen'

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Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has admitted while Carlos Sainz is "fast", he is "not a Max Verstappen".

The two drivers joined Toro Rosso together in 2015 but, despite both being second-generation drivers, it was the Dutchman who had the bigger hype as the 17-year-old wonderkid.

Ultimately, that status showed as it wasn't until Verstappen joined Red Bull from the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix that Sainz began to show his potential.

But by that point, it was clear to Marko who was the future of the team.

"Carlos was confronted with one Max Verstappen," the Austrian told Motorsport.

"The choice then [in 2016] actually went between the two: who do we promote? And then you get to the heart of it.

"Carlos is fast - otherwise we would not have picked him up at all - but he is not a Verstappen."

Having stayed at Toro Rosso with little chance of a promotion, Sainz broke free joining Renault on loan in 2018 before opting to leave both the team and the Red Bull stable to join McLaren in 2019.

And he would bloom finishing an impressive sixth in the Drivers' standings, ahead of both Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon, both of whom spent around half the year at the Anglo-Austrian outfit.

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"We helped Carlos in his career and didn't have to let him go," added Marko. "But we made the transition to Renault and later McLaren possible.

"We have a good relationship, but at that particular moment we also had Verstappen in the team and there are differences between them."