Toro Rosso will carry on tomorrow the comparisons tests underwent during Monza practice
Singapore, September 15th 2016.- The World Championship says goodbye to Europe as it now turns its head to the Asian leg of the calendar, with Singapore being the first meeting of it. Carlos Sainz is ready and fully motivated for a race in which Scuderia Toro Rosso may get back to the performance levels showcased during the first half of the year, as the engine factor is less important than the aerodynamics around this urban circuit.
Carlos moves over from Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, two tracks with very long straights, and now heads to a more twisty and technical venue which promises to be a better scenario for the Faenza-based team. The goals set by the Spanish driver are very clear: to score points and to return to the fight with the Williams, the Force Indias, the McLarens and the Haas.
Carlos’ first encounter with the Marina Bay track dates back to 2010, when he raced in Formula BMW Pacific as a guest driver. Back then he was ineligible to score points for the Championship and on top of that the race was held in the afternoon. It wasn’t until 2015 that he got to know the true spectacle of the circuit, that time with Formula One. It was a spectacular race filled with overtaking maneuvers and a ninth place as a final reward.
Pirelli has taken a more aggressive approach with its tyre selection, electing the soft, the supersoft and the ultrasoft compounds. Toro Rosso has made the following tyre allocation for its two cars: one set of softs, four supersofts and eight ultrasofts.
The Singapore paddock is ready and today Carlos attended the media ahead of the Grand Prix.
"It's time to get back to the rhythm we had during the first half of the year, time to fight again for a spot among the Top 10, time to do good pit-stops and strategies and to make the most out of every opportunity we have to score points. If we do well here and we make it to the points, then I believe that in places like Austin or Suzuka we'll be closer again. Still, we know that whatever happens here the second half of the year will be tougher than the first one”.
"I hope we fight again with the McLarens. Our goal is to be ahead of Haas. Fighting the Force Indias may be more difficult, although here we will try to fight the Williams. We want to be again near the Top 10, that's our goal".
"With a 100% chance of a Safety-Car, we expect an unpredictable and eventful race. We the middle grid teams come here feeling a little bit more hopeful, more so in our case because we know it's a track that suits our car. It demands a lot of downforce and we have that”.
It's a unique event also regarding the time schedule, which is designed to fit the European rhythm. "There are not many places as stunning as this race, so whatever happens we must have fun. I enjoy living in the European time zone, although it's a little bit weird waking up and going to sleep so late. It's strange having dinner at 02:00 or 03:00am in the morning, who can find a place to eat at that time!
Carlos travelled on Monday afternoon, but he had previously followed a rigorous training program that included stationary bike sessions inside a sauna. It’s an extreme but effective way to prepare for the conditions he will find inside the cockpit of his STR11. "I trained hard before coming here, even inside a sauna to prepare myself for the hot weather and the humidity. Last year I experienced my first Singapore race and I saw how tough it really is. It's not like you end up being slower than what you're capable of, but still you'll raise your visor whenever a Safety-Car is around just to enjoy a little fresh air. It's tougher than Malaysia, because it’s faster there and there’s more air. Here we don't go over 290 kilometers/hour and on top of that there's no air because we're among skyscrapers. And humidity is high, too".
Toro Rosso will use Friday's Free Practice to carry on with the aerodynamic comparisons started on Monza. Both cars will run on different configurations to check which one is more effective.
"Tomorrow we'll test things again on Practice. These tests may not be as extensive as in Monza, but still both cars will run on different configurations.
Despite the lack of results in the last few races, Carlos explains that the sprit within the team is still good. "Let's hope that this time we get back to where we deserve, I hope we can fight for points. We may not be enjoying a good moment results wise, but the situation within the team is good. I hope we can carry on like now. I'm happy with our season, with my engineering group and all the team".
Free Practice for the Singapore GP will commence tomorrow at 12:00 Spanish time. We will follow them via www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.