He worked mainly with the supersoft compound
Mexico City, October 29th 2016.- Carlos Sainz achieved the tenth fastest time in the third and final Free Practice session for the Mexico Grand Prix of Formula 1. The Spaniard of Scuderia Toro Rosso set a best lap of 1’20”325, his fastest overall this weekend, and kept his Q3 hopes alive ahead of a Qualifying that promises to be tough.
This morning temperatures stood warm, with the air at 15ºC and the tarmac at 35ºC. The circuit was slow and slippery at first, and that produced slower lap-times than expected. Carlos and his team-mate at Scuderia Toro Rosso were the first drivers to switch to the Supersoft tyre. The Spaniard’s work was built around that compound. He completed 22 laps in total, being again one of the most active contenders on track.
After getting out of his car, Carlos explained he felt happy but warned that it could not be enough to make it to the last phase in Qualifying. "At least I feel really comfortable in the car. I hope this balance, this position, stays the same for Qualifying. It wouldn't be bad at all. But in Malaysia I was also P9 after Free Practice 3 and then we fell back as our rivals pushed their engines. And in this track, the engine factor is super important".
Carlos will fight for a spot in Q3, although not achieving it would give him the freedom to select whatever tyre compound he desires to start the race with. "For me, as a driver, I want to qualify as high as possible. But if I start eleventh or twelfth, it wouldn't be a disaster either".
He also talked about the changing conditions of the track and the traffic expected for Q1. "This morning the tarmac was worse than yesterday, but by the end of the session it had improved and it was pretty much as in Free Practice 2. For Qualifying, it's going to be difficult to measure the track [calculate where his rivals are] and traffic will also be a key in Q1. It won't be an easy Qualifying", he concluded.
Qualifying for the Mexico GP will begin at 13:00 local time, 20:00 Spanish time. We will follow it live via www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.