Carlos Sainz gets a third season at Toro Rosso and will stay in F1 for 2017
Red Bull Racing
Carlos Sainz
Posted By: Alex Kalinauckas  |  29 Jun 2016   |  5:37 pm GMT  |  20 comments

Carlos Sainz will be stay at Toro Rosso for 2017 after Red Bull activated its option to keep him on for a third season at the Italian team.

Sainz’s future in Formula 1 has been the subject of much speculation after Max Verstappen was unexpectedly promoted to Red Bull in a controversial seat-swap with Daniil Kvyat before the Spanish Grand Prix last month.

Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner, who was speaking at a media event in the build up to this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, explained that as all Toro Rosso drivers are contracted to the senior squad, the decision had been taken to renew Sainz’s deal.

Carlos Sainz

Horner said: “We took up his option earlier this week so he is committed to Red Bull for the next 12 months.

“As with all the drivers they are contracted to Red Bull Racing, and then we have the ability to place them where we want. Of course, he is currently at Toro Rosso which is where he will be next year.

Horner also explained that although Red Bull had until the end of the year to activate its option on Sainz, the decision had been taken early to allow the 21-year-old to focus on the 2016 season.

He said: “We had until the end of the year to take up the option, and we chose to do it early to put his mind at rest.”

Sainz is currently 14th in the drivers’ championship on 18 points. His best finish so far in 2016 came at his home race in Spain, where he finished sixth.

Sebastien Buemi

A third year at Toro Rosso means Sainz will join Sebastien Buemi and Jean-Eric Vergne as the only drivers to be given three years with the Faenza-based squad.

Red Bull’s junior programme has brought a number of drivers through their early careers to F1, and although it has only produced one world champion for the Austrian squad so far, Sebastian Vettel, Horner hailed its impact on the team.

He said: “It’s great for us to have a driver development programme that is producing talent like [Daniel] Ricciardo, like Verstappen, Carlos as well, and of course Dany Kvyat.

“We are not short of talent in our stable, and now we are set at Red Bull Racing for the next two and a half years.”

Daniil Kvyat

Sainz’s deal is also good news for Kvyat, as Horner said he would be “surprised” if the Russian was dropped from the Toro Rosso line up at the end of 2016.

When asked about if Kvyat was likely to released, Horner said: “I’d be surprised. Dany is continuing his development, you can see he is finding his feet now, and there is not an obvious candidate knocking on the door at the moment that would warrant that seat.”

Kvyat’s chances of staying at Toro Rosso are further improved by the fact that Red Bull has few junior drivers that look like they are ready to step up to F1 next season.

French GP2 racer Pierre Gasly is the most likely driver to be promoted but he has not won a race since 2013 and as Red Bull’s junior programme is famous for its deliver-or-be-dropped approach, it’s hard to see him being promoted to F1 at this stage.

Carlos Sainz Daniil Kvyat

What do you make of the news Sainz will stay at Toro Rosso next year? Do you think he and Kvyat deserve to be kept on? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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Tornillo Amarillo

I’m not sure if ROSBERG will be world champion, or VERSTAPEN, or RICCIARDO, or PEREZ, or VETTEL again, or BOTTAS someday…

But SAINZ, I’m sure.

VANDOORNE, pretty sure too.


kvyat also deserves a seat don’t rule him out he has the ability to hit back over the criticisms


Saintz and Kvyat have been consistently placed in the top ten so they deserve to be retained. I think Kvyat is more likely to take risks in a race than Saintz so he will end up ahead in points.


Toro Rosso seem to retain their drivers for lack of better options – they weren’t that kind with Jaime Alguersuari, who was very talented. They may also be concerned that Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo may fly to Ferrari.


For all the over the top hype that’s been directed at Verstappen it’s good to see that Sainz will remain in F1.
Considering the disappointment he felt being overlooked for the promotion to Redbull, his performances and results since speak volumes for the level head and maturity he has in that head on.his shoulders.
It’s for those reasons I see him becoming a world champion before Max, although we all know it depends on the car as much as talent and potential.
I just hope to see ten cars on the grid capable of winning any given race next year instead of the current two.


I think sainz is a very very good driver and i am glad to see him re signed for another 12 months. kvyat is now improving and he will be a formidable challenger to sainz so hopefully they will both raise their game. remember that next year TR will have the new renault engine and together with the new rules they may well be a much improved team. they may even challenge for 4th in the championships.


Good news for all.
Sainz is a good driver, TR is a good team run by James Key.
Ferrari [same spec] will be a better engine.

Sainzinho will hv the chance of developing the car next year without the pressure of Verstappinho.


– No other wonder kid in the pipeline.
– Maybe there was a chance Renault might pick Sainz up. Else RB is a good option. Do not think Ferrari would hire him at this stage.
– RB may also be thinking that if Ricciardo leaves, Sainz is a good bet.
– WIth Rosberg resigning, Ferrari not seem to be looking outside Raikonnen and Sainz staying put will see less movement.
– Likely Button replaced by Vandoorne, Massa gone. Some changes at Renault.


This is great news for a great driver in Carlos. He absolutely deserves more time to improve before heading to Mclaren as Alonsos replacement.
Kavyat I’m not so sure about though,the guy gets my vote for his pass on vettel %100 but he’s underwhelmed me on the whole.


Glad to see Carlos securing a drive for next year, although to me this seems a way to increase his price if Renault wants to hire him.


Great News.
Sainz is a great driver and team player.
But after Toro Rosso I assume he will get a try at Red Bull which means Ricciardo maybe Ferrari bound? Or Sainz will end up going JEV way at Toro Rosso.


Ricardo won’t be going to Ferrari, Kivyat and Veratappen have been beating him far too often fit him to be taken seriously at the sharp end

But yes, Saniz has been good, was close to Max, deserved his restaurants signing, he copes with being Max’s team mate better than most other drivers would, or DR actually is…


“…have been beating him far too often for him to be taken seriously…”

Have we been watching the same races??? Kvyat may have beat Ricciardo on pure pace in maybe 2 or 3 races their entire time together. Any other time it was due to some other factor – most times factors beyond Ricci’s control (e.g. PU failures, accidents, etc.).

And Max hasn’t outpaced Ricci in quali or race pace ONCE. Kudos to Max for the win, but we all saw that tire strategy (made by the team) decided that race.

If you do an objective, detailed analysis & comparison of Ricci and all his teammates in F1, you may understand why there are Ferrari rumors.


I don’t get where any of this is coming. Sure Carlos has done well, but there’s no escaping Max did better (and as a Spaniard I feel compelled to be supportive of Sainz)… As for RIC I think he has held of young Max rather well. Were it not for the pit wall blunders their head to head would look far more favourable to Ric


I think a lot depends how 2017 shakes out and who is competitive. Why would Ricciardo go to Ferrari if Newey is designing a rocketship for the new regulations. We may see more movement for 2018 when everyone knows who got the regulations right.


Good point and you could well be right Nick 🙂


point taken re Ricciardo.
I was Just thinking about the Boss at Toro Rosso who likes to bring in the next Hotshots. It’s a quick cut off by the Boss. A driver normally lasts 2 seasons before they are either promoted or given the elbow. It’s a rarity that a driver lasts more than 3 seasons without a move upwards. Or just a farewell handshake. He is a ruthless but fair boss.
With a closer relationship with the Sister team one assumes they are expected to be pacey and racey from the get go in 2017.


Congratulations to Carlos on a new contract, considering his form in 2016, he has proved his worth and therefore is deserving of the new deal

However, seeing as the Red Bull seats are currently occupied, it would be fair for Carlos to ask the team to release him after 2017 so he can try his luck in a different team should a top team coming knocking.

As for Kvyat, well, he is pretty lucky that there isn’t hot talent in the academy otherwise Red Bull would have replaced him at the end of the season due to the fact he appears slower than Carlos.


Agreed, it’s great to see Sainz sticking around for another season 🙂

Kvyat might still be there on a “there’s no-one better to take his place right now” basis, but I get the distinct impression that his days in F1 are numbered.

As always with TR if you’re not moving forward you’re toast, so if you find yourself moving backwards…


@ Random 79

Yes Red Bull is a pretty unique team in that it owns Torro Rosso which it uses as a junior series within F1

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