Carlos Sainz Jr. is delighted that he was able to extend his Toro Rosso contract into 2017 following unsettling rumours linking him with drives elsewhere.
Since his former teammate Max Verstappen got promoted to Red Bull, constant speculation has been surrounding the young Spaniard about whether or not he is happy at Toro Rosso.
However, debunking those rumours, the 21-year-old extended his contract at the Scuderia-powered outfit, saying that it is the best move in terms of his career in the sport and development as a driver.
“It’s a very positive thing for me because in such a tough programme like Red Bull, and with Toro Rosso such a tough team to remain and to keep going with,” he told Sky Sports.
“We all know their history with young drivers – to break this tendency and sign a contract so early in the year is a special feeling and a special case. I’m very happy about that.
“It means I have the full confidence and full trust of Red Bull and Toro Rosso and means we can have good stability for the end of the year and next year. It will be an important year for them and for me. It’s just the best news at the right time, so I’m very happy about it.”
Sainz was also pleased at the fact that for the rest of the season he will not have to worry about his immediate future and will be able to race without any distractions.
“Until you sign something, or until someone tells you [you’re staying], in this programme there’s always going to be a bit of a doubt because we all know how this works,” he added.
“So I must be very grateful to Helmut [Marko], to Christian [Horner] for committing so early to it and for giving me so much confidence and so much trust.
“I know there is also good young talent and people wanting to be in this seat, so I just have to thank them and tell them I will give my best to keep going.
“I understand they are very happy with their two drivers because they are two really good drivers, but in the end I have to create my own opportunities and chances and that’s by doing a strong end of the season and a strong 2017, which I am fully focused on.”