The Toro Rosso STR11 receives its first package of the year
Hockenheim, July 28th 2016.- Carlos Sainz has arrived at the Hockenheimring circuit, home this weekend to the German Grand Prix. Today he has done the track-walk with his engineers to get to know the details of a track where he hasn't raced since 2012, the year on which he contested in the Formula 3 championship.
These are Carlos first thoughts as he talked to the media attending the event in Germany:
"Here we receive the first step of the season. We've seen how we've gone from qualifying on 5th and 6th in Australia to struggle for Q3 in the past couple races. I don't know how much we will improve with this evolution, but I hope it gives as some calm to be within the Top 10. I welcome every improvement before the 2017 rule changes. Regarding the car's performance, it's decreased as the year progressed but we have tried to compensate that both as a team and as a driver, with good strategies, good pit-stop, my best version of myself... and we've been pretty consistent in the last few races".
He holds good memories from the Hockenheimring. "It's a circuit I like. I've done Poles here, I've won races. I like it a lot because it's old-school. You can play with on its kerbs, Sachs is quite banked... There are a couple long straights here, but let's see if our upgrade allows us to run a little less wing and still enjoy good aerodynamic and mechanical grip. This will be the goal".
Toro Rosso will keep on fighting in a duel that now comprises the fourth, the fifth, the sixth and the seventh best teams around. "McLaren has rushed into that fight. Williams and Force India are still our most dangerous enemies; it will be very tough to beat them in Qualifying with that engine of them. In race, however, McLaren has entered this four-way fight: Force India, Williams, McLaren and Toro Rosso. It depends on the track".
After talking to his engineers in the briefing, Carlos has finally found an explanation to the great pace he was able to show in Hungary's Qualifying and race. "It was a tyre thing, which worked as we expected it to. In Free Practice 3 it was out of the window, but it was back in Qualifying and in the race we held it together. It was very hot, but when you are ahead in seventh or eighth position, you usually run in less traffic and that's better for your tyre. Fernando and I were racing like we were Hamilton and Rosberg, we weren't racing in the middle of a pack. That allows you to run more calmly, to save tyres and build a gap to Bottas and still make the tyre work in a simple way. Our pace was good".
Finally, he sends an encouraging message to his team: "The team has improved a lot since last year, but we must keep on walking this very same path. There are still some small issues we must tackle, but we're on it and we're working to improve. We have performed really well in the last races".
Tomorrow, the German Grand Prix will begin with the first two practice sessions. Free Practice 1 will be at 10:00 Spanish time. Free Practice 2, at 14:00. We will follow them via www.carlosainz.es and live on our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.