The Belgian GP, one of his favorite races of the season calendar
Madrid, August 24th 2016.- It has already been 25 days since Formula One temporary turned off its engines to enjoy a well-deserved summer break in the middle of what represents the longest season ever in the history of the sport. In fact, so far twelve Grand Prixes have been held and there are still nine to take place before the Championship reaches its closure.
Carlos Sainz has enjoyed this short vacations in company of his family and friends in Mallorca, just as he has done since he was a kid. Nevertheless, he has still stuck to a rigorous training plan as his mind was already focused in the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, where today he prepares to face the imminent challenge of the Belgian Grand Prix, the 13th round the 2016 Championship. Just before getting on the plane, Carlos trained today at the Recas karting, in Toledo, Spain.
The driver from Scuderia Toro Rosso holds the 11th spot in the Driver’s standings, and now heads to one of his favorite tracks in the world in one of the sweetest moments of his career. He has scored points in eight of the twelve races held so far this year, with two retirements due to non-human factors and two finishes over the 10th position. He has scored two thirds of his team’s points and now has settled as the second Spaniard with the most points in the history of the sport, just behind his good old friend Fernando Alonso.
Before going to the airport, Carlos shared his enthusiasm about the upcoming event: “I am ready, more eager than ever for the second half of the season to start. I would say Spa is the best circuit in the world! I look forward to getting there later today and racing there this weekend, it’s a unique event and racing there is super-fun, plus so far I’ve gathered good results there in my career”.
In fact, the Spaniard won in Spa-Francorchamps when he raced in Formula Renault 2.0. With GP3 he scored a solid Pole Position with an edge of over four tenths of a second. While in the World Series, he clinched the two Poles and two victories of the weekend.
Last year, it was a tough debut for Carlos in his first visit with Formula 1. After a very decent Qualifying in which he earned the 10th spot on the grid, he suffered an engine failure during the Formation Lap to the grid and that forced him to return to the pits even before the race had started. He lost two laps, but finally the team was able to solve the issue. Carlos completed two thirds of the event before retiring, as it was considered more appropriate to save mileage.
Although that was a tough moment for him (his fourth retirement in a row due to technical failures), he kept his head high and so he will this time as he fights for points despite knowing the power nature of the track, which suits better the more powered cars. “We know that our rivals can improve their power units while we can’t, but we’ll try to make the most out of our aerodynamics in the medium and the high speed turns. It’s an old-school, flowing track, with five or six turns taken in fourth gear and several ones that are flat-out, just as the legendary Eau Rouge or the Blanchimont area”.
Weather forecast can change in a matter of minutes and that itself represents one of the challenges of Spa-Francorchamps, just as the set-up. “Usually in this track you choose between being faster in the first and the third sector or being so in the second one. The first and the third consist mainly of long-straights, but that costs you time in the twisty area as you must compromise downforce for Top Speed. We’ll likely choose to go on a low-drag mode to try and compensate our lack of To Speed, and that will oblige us to be very precise in the race to manage the tyre temperatures the best we can while in the second sector. Tomorrow we’ll do the track-walk together with the engineers and we will work in these topics, among other things”.
Free Practice for the Belgian Grand Prix will commence on Friday at 10:00 Spanish time, although Carlos will talk tomorrow from 16:00 to the televisions, the written international and Spanish media.