Christian Horner says Renault has given up pursuing Carlos Sainz for 2017 as releasing him from Toro Rosso “doesn’t make sense” to Red Bull.

Sainz was linked with a move to Renault earlier this season before Red Bull took up its option to keep the Spaniard at Toro Rosso next year. Despite that deal, Renault revisited the idea having missed out on some of its other targets for next season, but Horner says releasing Sainz to Red Bull’s engine supplier doesn’t give his team an obvious benefit.

  • AS IT HAPPENED: Japanese Grand Prix – FP1

Asked if Renault was still trying to get hold of Sainz, Horner told Sky Sports: “I think they’ve given up on that.

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“I think some free watches/engines wasn’t going to happen. And why would we? He’s on a long term agreement with Red Bull, we’ve got him in the junior team, within Toro Rosso.

“At the moment you wouldn’t say being in a Renault was a better bet than being in a Toro Rosso, and we have immediate access to him should we need it. So having invested in him, having funded him through his junior career, put him in the junior team now at Toro Rosso, it doesn’t make sense for us to release him to Renault.”

Renault recently asked Kevin Magnussen to extend the deadline to take up the option on his contract by two weeks, which Magnussen duly did in order to give the team more time to make a decision over next season’s driver line-up. A decision on Magnussen’s future is now due on October 14.

Chris Medland’s 2016 Japanese Grand Prix preview

Technical snapshot – Malaysia

Scene at the Malaysian Grand Prix

2016 Malaysian Grand Prix – Quotes of the week

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