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Helmut Marko has spoken about the relationship between Sainz and Verstappen at Toro Rosso and his regrets about the Spaniard leaving the Red Bull setup. 

Carlos Sainz spent several seasons at Toro Rosso, ultimately missing out on an opportunity with Red Bull and leaving for Renault towards the end of 2017, a decision that would eventually lead him to Ferrari. 

Whilst Verstappen's promotion to Red Bull has proven a fantastic decision, Helmut Marko has admitted that it was never the team's intention to let him go.

In an interview with The Red Bull Bulletin, as quoted by yahoo sports, Marko spoke about Carlos Sainz's time at Toro Rosso:

"It was his bad luck to get Max as a teammate. The atmosphere between the two [Sainz and Verstappen] at Toro Rosso was quite toxic.

"At the time, I couldn’t see a way of keeping him with us, so he moved to Renault, McLaren and then to Ferrari.

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"For a long time, he lived in the shadow of his father, the two-time World Rally Champion.

"He was unfairly saddled with the image of being the spoiled son of a racing driver whereas, on the contrary, Carlos had to fight consistently to get ahead.

Marko added that Sainz and Verstappen were evenly matched at Toro Rosso, but the Dutchman's edge over his slightly older teammate ultimately made the difference. 

"There was an outcry because some felt Carlos had been overlooked [when Sainz left Toro Rosso].

"His development was also very good, and the difference between the two was often very minimal, but despite having less experience, Max was the faster driver, hence our decision to move him to Red Bull Racing."

The former teammates are now at the top of F1, consistently fighting for wins and podiums and serving as great success stories for the Red Bull academy.

However, Sainz's departure demonstrates one of the Red Bull setup's main flaws. Because of the sheer volume of youngsters the Austrian squad supports, it is inevitable that some will miss out on opportunities with the main team. 

This has led to several Red Bull drivers switching allegiance to other teams, meaning Red Bull inadvertently ends up providing their rivals with their talent.