Marko: Sainz a natural choice

The 20-year-old Spaniard was confirmed as Toro Rosso???s second driver following a successful test for the senior Red Bull team in Abu Dhabi.

Sainz was outshone in GP3 in 2013 by Arden teammate Daniil Kvyat as the Russian won the title whilst he languished in tenth, but the Spaniard bounced back this year to win the Formula Renault 3.5 Champion.

???Carlos has been with the Red Bull Junior Team for a long time. He???s had some ups and downs, but he convinced us by winning this year???s World Series title ??? and especially doing so with a record of seven wins,??? Marko told

???Nobody in the history of the series has matched Carlos in that regard. He???s matured a lot in the last two years.

???Of course, we were waiting to see how the championships were going. And then the test in Abu Dhabi in the Formula 1 car was the thing that really confirmed to us he was the right man for the seat. He had a very successful test this week. He did 100 laps, the speed was good and the technical feedback was good. He???s done everything we expected, so I???d say he was the natural choice.???

Sainz will be teamed with 17-year-old Verstappen who has leapt from karting to F1 via a single season in Formula 3.

???Perhaps Max Verstappen was a little bit of a surprise ??? but if such a talent comes up, you have to go for it,??? Marko added.??

???He also had quite a good test in Abu Dhabi. He had a minor crash and an engine failure, so he couldn???t go through the whole programme ??? but he proved that he is ready for Formula 1.???