Fernando Alonso's withdrawal leaves Carlos as the only Spaniard of the GP
Manama, March 31st 2016.- Carlos Sainz felt surprised today by the news that his friend and compatriot Fernando Alonso won't be able to take part in this weekend's race because of the injury he suffered in the Australian Grand Prix. Just as in Melbourne 2015, Carlos will once again be the only Spaniard on the grid.
"It's a shame and I wish Fernando a speedy recovery. I hope he is with us in China. Health comes first for everyone and I am sure that doctors have taken the right decision", said the driver from Madrid.
Regarding his Grand Prix, Carlos says he is "willing to do very well. Last year this track suited me pretty well, so I hope I can carry on with my good start of the season".
Talking from a technical perspective, the Toro Rosso STR11 is still one of the cars struggling on Top Speed and that translates into a handicap in circuits like Sakhir. That's what Carlos explained today as he appeared in front of the cameras for the first time this weekend. "For whatever reason it is, we are one of the slowest team on the straights and that won't help us here".
Strategy and tyre-wear will be two important factors this week-end. Toro Rosso has chosen slightly different tyre allocations for its drivers. Carlos will have two sets of Pirelli Mediums, six Softs and five Supersofts while his teammate Max Verstappen will have one Medium, seven Softs and five Supersofts.
Carlos is prudent in his approach for this race. "Repeating what we did in Australia sounds difficult, especially Qualifying wise. This track has more straights, so Force India or Williams might step up. Plus, this circuit is very harsh with the tyres. We saw in Australia that because of tyre management we couldn't stand among the bests and in this regards Red Bull is one of the bests on the grid. So our three main rivals, which are Red Bull, Williams and Force India, should all step up here. I hope we do the same, but I think it will be a tougher weekend than the previous one", Carlos said.