May 7 (GMM) Carlos Sainz jr is on course for a future in Formula One.
The 17-year-old Spaniard is the son of Carlos Sainz, the former two-time world rally champion.
Sainz jr, however, has pursued a career in open wheelers, and - now that Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne have stepped up - he is the new cream of energy drink Red Bull's junior driver programme.
And another direct link to the world of Formula One for Sainz jr is his new sponsorship deal with Cepsa, the Spanish oil company that is also Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso's main backer.
Sainz jr's new Cepsa deal is for his participation this year in the British and Euroseries F3 categories, but "Our intention is to continue (beyond 2012)," Cepsa co-chairman Santiago Bergareche is quoted by Marca newspaper.
"Hopefully everything goes well and Carlos will be in that world (F1) one day," added Cepsa chairman Alfonso Escamez.
He said the deal does not guarantee Sainz jr a future in f1.
"The sponsors have no say on the teams of the drivers. We can try to influence, to give our opinion, but we are not (able to decide) on that side.
"We hope that it does happen, but it will not necessarily."