Mar.18 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Carlos Sainz says he is happy to have survived the departure from Toro Rosso of the major Spanish sponsor Cepsa.

Many believed the Red Bull-backed Sainz’s arrival at the Faenza based team last year was also linked strongly to the presence of Cepsa, the Spanish oil multinational.

That branding is gone for 2016, but Sainz told El Mundo newspaper in Melbourne: “It helps to have support, but I know that if I’m here it is not because of money.

“I came to the team by my merits only and I’m still here,” he added.