Carlos Sainz Jr insists his comments about the likelihood of moving away from Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2018 have been blown out of proportion, with what he said down to the fact that the team have never previously retained a driver for four consecutive seasons.
Sainz first joined the Faenza-based team for the 2015 Formula 1 season and has built himself a good reputation as a promising up-and-coming driver, and Christian Horner has revealed this weekend that the Spaniard will indeed continue with Toro Rosso next season.
The Spaniard has ambitions to move up to the Red Bull Racing squad, but with both Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen signed up for next season already, Sainz admitted there were doubts whether he would remain with Toro Rosso.
“Everything probably has been thrown a bit out of proportion,” said Sainz in Austria. “What I said yesterday is nothing strange, I believe.
“As a driver, as an ambitious driver, as a human, it’s clear my first goal in life is to become a Red Bull driver and start fighting for podiums with them again – I owe them everything.
“I owe Toro Rosso and the people there everything I know in Formula 1 at the moment, but I have ambitions. My ambition is to be a Red Bull driver one day and hopefully sooner rather than later.
“What I said is a fact, in 12 years of Toro Rosso, no one has been a fourth year. For me to be a fourth year, I’ll be the first one in history.
“It would be a strange situation, usually it’s a junior team where you want to develop drivers and to put someone up and it would be strange.
“By the looks of it, it looks like they keep trusting in me, which is great news for me. It looks like my bosses are happy with my performance, so by the looks of it, at the moment, yes. 2017 is a very long year ahead, things could change.”