An early contract extension at Scuderia Toro Rosso for Carlos Sainz Jr was to squash rumours of a potential move elsewhere and keep him within the Red Bull family long term, according to the Spaniard.
Speaking to F1i.com, the Spanish driver believes the earlier contract decision was to stop the rumours and after an impressive run with the Red Bull junior team, Sainz was hot property.
“There were obviously many rumours going on at that time,” Sainz said. “As I started to show my true performance some rumours came alive which were silenced very quickly by Red Bull by signing a contract.
“I felt very privileged when Red Bull executed the option on me so early in the season, I think I was probably one of the first drivers to be signed so early by such a tough team as Toro Rosso so this shows things were done really well during this period of time.”
Sainz missed out on a promotion to the senior team earlier this season as Red Bull choose Max Verstappen to replace Daniil Kvyat after the Russian Grand Prix, but Sainz has not been downhearted after missing out.
“No I don’t think it’s my motivation,” said Sainz. “My main motivation has to be within the Toro Rosso team to extract the maximum potential of the car. Make sure every weekend I am the driver that is extracting the maximum out of the package I have.
“Recently I think that has been the case and that is why I am so happy but my intention is never to prove to Red Bull: ‘You got it wrong with Max, it’s me coming’. My intention is to be able one day whenever they have a chance again of promoting someone to make sure it’s me. That is my main target at the moment.”