He matches Toro Rosso's best Marina Bay Qualifying
Singapore, September 17th 2016.- The Singapore Grand Prix gave us a tight and thrilling night Qualifying, with Carlos Sainz making the most out of his Toro Rosso STR11 to finish the session on sixth place and grant himself a spot in the third row of tomorrow’s Starting Grid.
This result equals Toro Rosso’s best Qualifying performance ever around this circuit, which was done by Sebastian Vettel back in 2008. Carlos time is especially remarkable when taken into consideration the fact that he was the slowest car in terms of Top Speed, reaching only 300’1 kilometers/hour.
In the opening Q1, the Toro Rosso began on a set of supersoft tyres. Carlos did a single flying lap and it was enough to make it to the Top 10, despite the fact that all his rivals used the ultrasoft rubber, which is approximately nine tenths faster.
In Q2, the Spaniard started straightforward on ultrasoft tyres. He initially clocked a 1’44”493, but was later forced to give up his second try due to a yellow flag. In the end, that last effort was proved unnecessary as no car was able to improve. On top of that, he also had trouble in pits when he tried to start his car after visiting FIA’s weighting area. Still he finished on seventh place, which was enough to make it to Q3. The moment of truth was upon him as he returned to a place he hadn’t visit with his Toro Rosso since the July races.
Carlos had saved two brand new set of ultrasofts. Using the first one, he set a solid 1'44"530. But the best was yet to come, as the Spaniard later improved up to 1'44"197 on his second stint. It was good enough to finish sixth, just behind the two Mercedes, the two Red Bulls and Ferrari's Kimi Räikkónen.
It was the third time that Carlos earned a P6 in Qualifying, the remaining two being also in 2016. He couldn't hide his happiness as he got out of his car. "That final lap, we had it in our pocket because we had made it to Q2 on supersofts. I had a very solid lap in Q1 and we knew we could improve. In Q2 I was only able to do one try; I missed the second run of that session. Truth is that by that time we weren’t into the rhythm, as there had been over 20 minutes between each run, but by Q3 I finally made two consecutive laps and thanks to that pace we did this final lap. We must be very happy".
"Our pace is acceptable here, because it's a downforce track, although we're still slow on Top Speed. Very happy, as I said. Yesterday race pace was solid, so let's hope that tomorrow we start and have a trouble free race. Let's see if we can make the most out of other's mistakes and make it to the points".
"When you have the chance to start behind the Ferraris, Red Bulls, Mercedes... One race ago we were three seconds behind, who would have told us! This comes to prove that our car's performance depends of the circuit. It goes very well in some places, because they're downforce tracks and not power-demanding places. We must make the most out of the opportunities in this kind of circuits".
Tomorrow, the Singapore Grand Prix will start at 14:00 Spanish time. We will follow it live via www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.