Veteran WRC driver Carlos Sainz, known to his fans as The Matador, has said he will quit the end of the season if he fails to secure a drive with Citroën, Peugeot, Ford or Subaru for next year.

Veteran WRC driver Carlos Sainz, known to his fans as The Matador, has said he will quit the end of the season if he fails to secure a drive with Citroën, Peugeot, Ford or Subaru for next year.

The 41-year-old Spaniard has a one-year contract with Citroën for this year and according to he has been in negotiations with at least two of the top teams concerning a contract for next season.

But Sainz, currently second in the championship standings after his second place an the last weekend’s Acropolis Rally, maintains nothing has been finalised for 2004.

"I would prefer to answer the question about my future later this season," he said. "But if I don’t have a proper option for next year, then I would stop. By a proper option I mean a competitive team."

Sainz refused to accept that his position in the drivers' standings - ahead of team-mates Colin McRae and Sébastien Loeb - might elevate him to the top of Citroën’s team boss Guy Frequelin’s wish-list for 2004… Especially in light of the WRC Commission’s recommendation that the FIA World Council limit each team to just two front-rank drivers in 2004.

CARtoday.com reported last month that the FIA wanted manufacturers with three official drivers to nominate a young driver, who had not finished in the top three on a WRC rally in the past three years, as their third pilot. At Citroën, Sainz is clearly the elder statesman.

"I have no answer," said Sainz. "This is not in my mind. I wouldn't put a question against Colin just like I wouldn’t put a question against Richard Burns. We will see what happens in the end.

"For now, the only thing I can do is keep on working hard and doing exactly the same thing that I have done all my life. After that, we will just have to wait and see," he added.

Original article from Car