Aug 26, 2016

Carlos Sainz, fourteenth at Free Practice 1 for the Belgian GP

He tested the ‘halo’ protection system together with Rosberg, Ricciardo and Hülkenberg

Francorchamps, August 26th 2016.- Formule One roars all along the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps as Free Practice begins for the Belgian GP. The first session went underway under clear blue skies and warm temperatures, just like yesterday. Today, thermometers peaked at 25 degrees both for the air and the track surface.

For Carlos Sainz, it wasn’t business as usual this time as he was one of the chosen ones to test the new halo protection system, a carbon-fiber structure mounted on the cockpit that provides a ‘jail’ capable of deflecting flying objects that may stand in the way of the cockpit and represent a threat to the driver’s head and helmet. It was the first time that a Scuderia Toro Rosso car used such a solution and Carlos Sainz completed a single installation lap with it, as seen before in prior runs with other drivers.

After that initial test, Carlos went on and evaluated two of the three tyre compounds that Pirelli has brought to the event: the soft and the medium one. He finished the 90-minute-long session in 14th place with a personal best of 1’51”424, 3”076 seconds away from leader Nico Rosberg.

He begun with a four-lap stint on soft tyres, followed by a shorter run -two laps- on that very same set. He did a final seven-lap run on new mediums.

In theory, the Belgian circuit is not the optimum circuit for Toro Rosso’s characteristics, but the result of the first Free Practice session isn’t representative as it was time to polish the set-up of the STR11, not aim for fast laps.

Free Practice 2 for the Belgian GP will begin later today at 14:00 Spanish time. We will follow it live via and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.