He improves his one-lap rhythm and hopes to fight for Q3
Silverstone, June 9th 2016.- Carlos Sainz finished in tenth place in the third and final free practice session for the British Grand Prix. The work the team done by the team last night payed off as today there was an improvement on the performance of the STR11 in Qualifying conditions.
Rain appeared last night and this morning there were some intermittent showers, so by the beginning of the session was still wet despite the running done by the feeder series. Carlos did his installation lap on intermediates. He likes running in the wet, but he would have preferred it to be a completely dry asphalt so he could have tested as soon as possible all the changes done to his set-up last night.
Soon it was possible to move on to the slick compounds, and Carlos chose the Pirelli Medium for his first timed laps. Unluckily, his stint only lasted for three laps as Marcus Ericsson crashed against the barriers after Stowe corner and the session was red flagged. 16 minutes were spent on reparing the barriers and cleaning up the debris from the Sauber, so Carlos lost precious testing time until, with five minutes still remaining, the action was restarted.
Finally, Carlos picked up a set of soft tyres and did five laps on them, the best of which was enough for him to claim the tenth place with a 1'32"889, 1"985 away from leader Lewis Hamilton. He raced in similar conditions to the ones expected in the official session, with 18ºC in the ambient and 21ºC on track.
After jumping out of the STR11, the Spaniard was quite optimistic. "It seems like we're a little bit closer, we've improved compared to yesterday. I still think McLaren and Force India are ahead, but yes, we are closer. Let's see if we can improve a little bit more and clinch a Q3 spot".
Toro Rosso didn't focus on his race pace but on the Qualifying one, as pure speed is the priority now. "Obviously we focused on improving the Qualifying, so we don't know how that may affect us in the race. It may be better, may be worse. The case is that we are improving and now we will try to take the next step".
Rain is not impossible for the Qualifying session, even though it's most likely to stay dry. There are other weather conditions that may affect the performance of the cars. "The variable wind affects your laps. You must leave a little bit of margin in each turn, because from one lap to another conditions can change a lot, the same goes for your breaking points and your racing line. You must have a little bit of luck and have more or less wind in an important turn".