Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has confirmed that Carlos Sainz Jr. is to remain with sister team Toro Rosso for the 2017 F1 season.
The Spaniard, who impressed everyone ever since making his F1 debut alongside Max Verstappen in 2015, had been linked with Ferrari in recent weeks on the back of his strong performance for Toro Rosso over the course of his F1 season.
Reports said that Sainz has been on the shopping list of a couple of teams including Scuderia Ferrari. However, in a move to avoid him getting lured away, Red Bull this week decided to take up an option on his contract, ending Ferrari’s threat.
Horner confirmed at a media event last Wednesday that Sainz is committed to sister team Toro Rosso until the end of 2017.
However, like most of the F1 stars within the Red Bull stable, Red Bull was forced to take an option for a further year, thus keeping Sainz on board and out of the range of potential suitors.
“We took up his option earlier this week, so he is committed to Red Bull for the next 12 months – then we have the ability to place them where we want,” he said, via the Motorsport.com.
“He is currently at Toro Rosso and that is where he will be next year.”
Horner explained that the company had until the end of the year to take the option on Sainz’s contract but decided to confirm it early to “put his mind at rest” and eventually put an end to the Ferrari rumors.
Despite Sainz being kept on Toro Rosso, his hopes of moving up to the senior Red Bull team still appear slim with both Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen under contract for the next two years.
In addition, Horner also appeared to end speculation over Daniil Kvyat’s future, the Russian F1 driver having been moved from the main Red Bull team to sister team Toro Rosso earlier this year in favor of Max Verstappen. The Red Bull team principal said that he also expected Kvyat to remain at Toro Rosso.
Picture Courtesy: Morio/Wikipedia.org