Carlos Sainz says staying with the Red Bull family for 2017 was “not my decision” as they exercised their option on him, but it is a decision that he has welcomed.
Toro Rosso confirmed earlier this week that Sainz would race for the team next season after Red Bull opted to retain his services.
The announcement put to rest rumours linking the 21-year-old to a move to Ferrari.
And although Sainz had very little say in the extension, he is happy to remain within the Red Bull family.
He told Motorsport.com: “At the end, it is not my decision.
“If Red Bull wants me, even if I don’t want – but I [do] want to stay in Toro Rosso – it is just, I have no power of decision at all. If Red Bull wants me, then they have the contract, they have the option and they executed it and I have to stay.
“I don’t know if there were other possibilities, I prefer not to care too much about it. I just know that Red Bull wants me to be with them.
“It is true the senior team is a bit too crowded at the moment, so I will have to wait – but I am convinced that if I do good races, they will make me a seat and they will find an option for me.”
The Spaniard revealed that next year’s championship may not be his last season with Toro Rosso or Red Bull as the option did not only extend to 2017.
“I think I have another two or three years where they can keep exercising this option.
“As Helmut Marko said not a long time ago, of course I can leave the programme and everything but they will need to be paid a lot of money.
“They will always execute this option if they can, especially if they like me like he does.
“At the moment I don’t have much of an opinion or reaction to this, for me to have the confidence of character like Helmut Marko – we know how tough he is – so early in the season gives me great confidence.
“It is a great boost for the rest of the season to know I am quite safe in such a tough programme and from now I can drive a bit more free and a bit calm knowing that next year I will be in a team for sure.”