It will be crucial to get the most out of the STR12 in Qualifying
Montecarlo, May 24th 2017.- For the third time as a Formula 1 driver, Carlos Sainz has arrived at Monaco to take part in one of the most special events in the Championship, the madness of the Monaco Grand Prix, maybe the most glamorous event in the planet. The driver of Scuderia Toro Rosso played yesterday in the tradition benefic football match between celebrities and drivers, and today worked with his engineers at the urban circuit as the city prepares itself to become the world capital of motor racing for one weekend.
Carlos’ previous record at Monaco is very positive. In 2015, he finished tenth in his first experience despite starting from the Pit-Lane. He had been given a penalty after jumping accidentally the weighting point in Qualifying. Although his car was deemed completely legal, the penalty was unavoidable and invalidated the P8 he had secured after entering Q3.
One year later, his work was even better. After an inedit P6 on the Starting Grid, he dealed with the uncertain weather conditions but mistakes that escaped his responsibility prevented him from finishing in the podium, a goal which seemed possible at one point. Carlos crossed the line in eighth place, with great feelings both in the wet and in dry conditions.
For this year, the driver arrives at Monaco after his best start to the season. At the Spanish GP, he and Daniil Kvyat celebrated their first anniversary as teammates, although the Spaniard has beaten him 59 points to 8 during this same time.
The characteristics of the Principality of Monaco are unique, and both Carlos and Kvyat will have a single set of soft tyres, three supersofts and nine ultrasofts, the preferred compound for a tarmac that is not very abrasive and has little grip.
As usual on the preview of Free Practice, Carlos spent some time with the media and shared his thoughts about the weekend.
"Experience helps a lot in this circuit. Knowing the track helps you to stay calm, without feeling that much pressure in Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2. But there’s still some extra pressure because of Monaco and I love that. You meet lots of fans on your way from the hospitality to the box. You would usually walk the paddock closed in your thoughts, but here is impossible because it is full of fans. There are many people at the hospitality, you can feel it is an especial event".
Talking about the options of Toro Rosso for this Grand Prix, he is cautious. "This year is harder to make predictions, because we’ve had a few surprises so far. There is no clear pattern on this year’s car. For example, in Barcelona we should have been stronger than we were. Then there are races like Bahrain, which should be hard for us, but we had been performing very well in Qualifying until we suffered that technical problem. I don’t make predictions, but at least power will be a smaller factor this time".
Carlos talked about the status of his team and its main rivals. "I think the top teams have taken a massive step forward from the regulations. There are three teams in front, then the rest have very similar downforce levels, this is why the midfield looks so tight. I still think we could be a bit closer in terms of power-output, maybe in front or closer to the Force India, Williams. But yes, as James Key said, maybe we don’t have the advantage to the other chassis we had last year. I think that if we gained an extra bit, we could be fighting instead of falling always behind, forcing ourselves to drive flat-out on Sunday from Lap 1, trying undercuts… I hope the next upgrades will give us a couple tenths to enter the Q3 fight. We are working to understand why aren’t we as good in Qualifying as in race condition, but we must remain positive and try to get the most out of what we have, because Qualifying is very important in Monaco".
Carlos also talked about the kerb that has been introduced at the third sector. "It may be a little bit too much. I think it’s more suitable for the Porsche Supercup than for Formula 1. Whoever makes a mistake, he will pay a high price because he will be thrown catapulted into the wall. That kerb will serve as a wall. If you touch it, you’ll practically be out. What we had last year was enough for us, maybe not for other series, but is Formula 1 the one that enjoys preference".
Last but not least, he also talked about his recent charity act as a sponsor of the Kiciclos, tricycles to help together with Spanish NGO Juegaterapia sick kids who need medical care. "I liked the idea since the very beginning. It is one of those things that can put a smile in the face of a child, and I collaborate with a smile too. I’m ambassador of the Maria de Villota Legacy, I have collaborated with another NGO called Avanza… Whenever I have free time, I try to participate in actions like these", Carlos concluded.
Free Practice for the Monaco Grand Prix will begin tomorrow Thursday at 10:00 hours with the first session. Free Practice 2 will be held at 14:00. They both will last 90 minutes. We will follow them closely via www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.