132 laps, including Qualifying and Race simulations
Barcelona, March 10th.- The 2017 Formula 1 preseason concluded today and Carlos Sainz was the one in charge of finishing off Scuderia Toro Rosso’s testing program. He did 132 laps around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Qualifying runs and the race simulations he desired.
With a better reliability than in previous days, the Spaniard said goodbye to winter testing. He has completed 306 laps around the Barcelona track, in total. It is a decent amount of mileage to kick-off the season in good fashion later this month in Australia, with a better understanding of his car and its new power unit.
Carlos felt happy as he got out of the STR12. “Today was much positive than previous days. First because of my 1:19.8 lap, but most of all because we completed 138. We finished our program with no set-backs and now we can go to Melbourne feeling more calmed. It was a good day. That inspires us tranquility and puts us in good spirits ahead of Australia”.
The Spaniard keeps his feet on the ground as he recognizes the strengths of his rivals. “We have less laps than our rivals and there’s a lot of potential to unlock within the car. Today we discovered some things, but I insist that we have done less mileage than our rivals. We will recover throughout the year as we learn more about the STR12”.
Carlos had a good feeling as he tested the car. “Since we started until today, we have taken great. We have been adjusting the set-up and now the car feels more or less the way I like. Also on the physical side: the first day you drive the car and you see they are much quicker, but today I could complete 132 laps without any issues”.
He explained that he has prepared well himself as a driver for the new season. “These cars are not like last years’. You have to do more laps to take Turn 3 and Turn 9 flat-out, so when you do these 132 laps you can feel more ease with yourself and with the car”.
“I want to thank the mechanics, who have given their very best these days as we had to solve lots of little issues, and I also thank the team, in which I have full trust. Our power unit will evolve through the year and the team has proven to know how to develop, as we saw for example in the 2015 Spanish GP when we were P5 on the grid thanks to a great technical evolution. I’m really looking forward to that first Grand Prix”, he concluded.
THE WORKING PROGRAM
Carlos was one of the first drivers to hit the track on Friday morning. After his installation lap and a drive through the pits, he moved to soft tyres for his first run (8 laps). One hour later, he started doing short stints. He first used the softs, then the supersofts and finally the ultrasofts, on which he set his fastest lap of the winter: 1:19.837. It was Toro Rosso’s fastest time, too. He arrived in that fashion to the lunch break, in the third place of the standings.
When he returned to the track, almost at 03:00 pm, he clocked a stint on race conditions before starting a proper race simulation around the Circuit. The race distance was interrupted by an evaluation scheduled by the team, as Carlos stopped in the main straight. Nevertheless, he was able to run again to fulfill the simulation and add a few laps before travelling to Australia.
Engines are off, but they will soon roar again as Formula One prepares itself for the Australian Grand Prix. The action will begin on March 24th with the Friday Free Practice sessions. We will follow them closely via www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.