The Spaniard completes 161 laps, a distance only Mercedes had reached before
Carlos Sainz has completed the work program he had been given for the first week of testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with a day of hard work in which he's covered 161 laps, more than any of the other drivers that took part in today's practice. The Toro Rosso driver has set the sixth fastest time of the day.
Carlos' and Toro Rosso's work is even more remarkable when taken into consideration the youth of the brand new STR11. It arrived just on time for the beginning of the preseason and on its third day of live it has been able to complete two race distances. The Spaniard has completed 750 kilometers with his new machine, way over the 150-lap mark that only Mercedes had broken before.
NO TIME TO REST
During the day, the two drivers of the defending champion tem have alternated at the wheel of their car. Sainz has driven on his own all they long. He started his day just a minute after the green light went on and he even had time to practice pit-stops. After one of them, his team urged him to stop for safety reasons because of a loose nut. Finally prepared with new tyres and nuts, the Spaniard faced the moment of truth with stints that ranged from 10 to 15 laps, always on the Medium compound. By the time lunch break arrived, he had already set his personal best: 1'26''239.
Toro Rosso scheduled a race simulation for the afternoon session. Carlos completed it in three stints without any issues at all. He made the most of his last laps to make some little tweaks on his car. Carlos won't be back behind the wheel until March 2nd, when he will drive a fully-livered STR11 that as days go by starts to look more and more similar to the one that will compete at the Australian Grand Prix.
This is what Carlos Sainz said in his press conference:
Question: How was your day? What lecture do you do of your first week of testing with the STR11?
Carlos Sainz: "It's been a very positive day, we have completed 161 laps! We started with 55, yesterday 121 and today 161, so the car is improving. Mileage and reliability are better, and it's obvious we are moving in the right direction. We came to Barcelona determined to do many laps and today we proved we are capable of doing so, so I feel very happy. I congratulate my team.
Question: What can we expect from Toro Rosso for next week, aside from the new livery?
Carlos Sainz: "We came here with a car that was in the halfway point between last year's one and the new one so we could do laps, and we are doing them. But this car doesn't have much to do with the one you'll see next week or in Australia. For now, we just try to run and see if it breaks down. I look forward to test the car we'll have next week, although until Australia we won't really know how fast it is. We can't say if it's going to be a great season or if we are going to have a car capable of fighting for the Top 10. Patience".
Question: Today was a perfect day?
Carlos Sainz: Truth is we had many small issues, but we solved them as they happened. The car is still very young, but that didn't stop us from running a lot. If you try to do 160 laps on a single test day, you won't make it in 90% of cases. Today we achieved that and we must be super happy for this.
Question: Why did you stop this morning at the end of the Pit-Lane?
Carlos Sainz: "We were practicing pit-stops and there were some doubts with a nut that wasn't fixed as it should be. For safety reasons we stopped the car at the end of the Pit-Lane.
Question: Travelling from Barcelona to Talavera de la Reina in a Formula 1 car in a single day must be exhausting, isn't it?
Carlos Sainz: "Yes, 161 laps are a lot, almost two and a half races with a full race simulation program during the afternoon session that destroys you from a physical point of view. But I must say my winter training was excellent and I feel well, and to have been able to do so many laps without a single problem proves that. Today I will sleep well, that's for sure, but we have done our homework. This winter I exercised my neck and my shoulders, and they felt great".
Question: What do you think about the new qualifying system that has been proposed for 2016?
Carlos Sainz: "I don't have a clear opinion on that, I haven't had enough time to sit with my engineers and see what it will mean. On one hand, is good because it may be more spectacular. But on the other one it may be bad because it may be hard to comprehend. For those fans who don't watch Formula 1 every single day, it may be a bit difficult to explain on TV, but we'll have to try. If it is indeed more spectacular, then it will be less important if it is more comprehensible or not".
Tomorrow winter testing will continue at Montmeló with Max Verstappen behind the wheel of the Toro Rosso in the last day of the first week.