Carlos Sainz will be putting his head down in Melbourne and won’t look up until the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi at the end of November.

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Both Sainz and Toro Rosso have mutual expectations this season. The Faenza-bases outfit is looking to move up the ranks while the Spaniard will be working to set himself up for any opportunity which may come his way in 2018.

It’s no secret Sainz has been coveted by almost every team in the paddock but a rock-solid contract with Red Bull has kept the 22-year-old in the same spot.

That could change next season depending on his results and how the driver market eveolves.

“It is no secret that I try to be a world champion in the near future,” Sainz said in an interview with

“To be that you need to beat people like Lewis, like Vettel, like Fernando – all the other guys in the top teams. I believe I am capable of doing that – I just need the right material.”

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Sainz has expectations for 2017 but so does his team. Held in high praise by Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost, the junior bull is expected to deliver, but he already knows that.

“The team has expectations – the whole team. Every year we want to finish fifth in the championship – and this year there is a high chance, or a higher chance, because we do not have the disadvantage of the power unit as we had last season.

“And I do believe that the team has delivered the good chassis and aerodynamics from the previous years. But Franz hasn’t given me a target as a driver. Yes, he expects me to deliver – but that I expect from myself.”

While considering the future, Sainz says that once the lights turn green next week in Melbourne his only focus will be a giving it his very best from the first race to the last.

“It is something that I thought about last November – and I did an analysis and pictured it. But once the season gets started the only thing that helps you be in a good position at the end of 2017 is to push like hell!

“You are only as good as your last race and nobody will remember what you’ve done in 2016. When a contract arrives at the end of 2017 it is not thanks to my 2016 performance.

“This season is so important – but it would be so stupid for me to think about the end even before it has started.

“Or how I would approach Red Bull, if Ferrari arrives, or Renault arrives – or Mercedes! Because it is not going to happen unless I deliver this season.”

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