He has full trust in Toro Rosso and Renault to enjoy a season from less to more
Madrid, March 17th 2017.- Carlos Sainz will start tomorrow his trip down to Australia to participate in the first Grand Prix of the season, in the urban circuit of the Albert Park. For the Spaniard of Scuderia Toro Rosso, this will be the third time he goes to Melbourne to commence a Formula 1 season. Just as in previous occasions, today he organized together with Red Bull Spain a meeting with the press. He answered the questions of the media before the beginning of the Championship.
In the following lines, we reproduce in a Q&A format the transcription of the key elements discussed in the meeting.
P: Is the car as demanding as you expected it to be?
Carlos SAINZ: I’ve felt that it is much more demanding. As we drivers tend to say, it doesn’t much how much you train over the winter because your body will be in pain after the first day. There are certain muscles you just can’t train in the gym.
But it is also true that each time I’ve scaled categories, I’ve had a better time. I enjoy more, I can push it a little bit more to the limit and that is fun. This Formula 1 has improved and it seems like a higher series, and I am happy with that. What will indeed change is that instead of talking with the engineers while cornering –because last year we were pretty calmed through corners, let’s say- this time we will have to wait until we get to a straight and we can catch our breath.
TORO ROSSO AND THE RENAULT ENGINE
P: Are the technical issues you saw in preseason testing solved?
Carlos SAINZ: I wouldn’t say they are 100% solved, but things do get better when you work with energy and knowing what you are doing. The second week of winter testing was nothing like the first one. That’s why I trust them. They are doing things well and when you see that their works team Renault is also taking steps forward, that gives you more confidence. They are totally focused in Formula 1.
Winter testing was tough. We lost a lot of track mileage because of small reliability issues. Renault improved and we had to fit our testing program from an eight-day schedule to a four-day one. In the end it improved quite a lot and, thanks to that final day, we are now going to Melbourne feeling confident and a little bit more calmed.
P: What is the goal of the team?
Carlos SAINZ: It depends! The feeling I get from the car is that it can be able to fight for the same things we were fighting last year. I hope we can fight for a podium, but last year we had no car to fight for the positions that give you the most points.
There is a pretty tight bunch of teams. We will see if we are the fifth team or if it is Haas, Renault –which has improved a lot since last year- or Force India. I hope we have fun and that fans enjoy. We tend to be in the part of the grid were the most battles and overtakings unfold.
But talking specifically about the goals of our team, thanks to the development of the Renault engine and the work that Toro Rosso can do in the aerodynamics and the chassis side, I hope we develop more than the others and that our year goes from less to more, instead of the other way around. I think it’s what Toro Rosso and Renault are capable of doing.
P: Do you think you can get a good result in Australia?
Carlos SAINZ: It is a very crazy race. We also must remember that if you are P5 or P6 in Australia it doesn’t mean that it should happen again in Bahrain. Last year was a clear example of that. Australia is the first benchmark, but it doesn’t set the tone for the rest of the season.
2017 FORMULA 1
P: You were optimistic even before you had the chance to drive these cars. After testing them, how do you think racing will be?
Carlos SAINZ: I maintain that. Last year we didn’t see overtakings because one car was faster or not, but because of the strategy variations we had. This year we will do one stoppers and logically we should see less overtakings, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be more fighting on track.
P: You are about to start your third year in Formula 1. How do you rate yourself and the two years you have done so far?
Carlos SAINZ: I don’t see any weak points in me and I am happy for that, but I should improve in everything. I think I have the potential to improve in every aspect. It would be a mistake for me to now say that in my third year in Formula 1 ‘I’ve got this sorted out’. I think I have to practice everything and improve in everything.
P: Are you taking this 2017 season as a transition to something more in 2018?
Carlos SAINZ: I am not taking it this way. I am approaching it knowing I have the chance to learn for the third year in a row in Formula 1 in a team that trusts my abilities, with an engine that will be upgraded and with a competitive car, and with an incredible desire to do things well. I am going to take it race by race.
CARLOS SAINZ GRANDSTAND
P: You must be very happy to get to Australia, but also to get to the Spanish GP. There you will have, for the second year in a row, the Carlos Sainz grandstand.
Carlos SAINZ: Yes, today is precisely when that idea starts to roll. Me and my team have worked this winter to give the fans a very similar offer to last year’s, which had a massive repercussion. I felt very happy seeing all the people that thanked me via social media because had it not been for this initiative they wouldn’t been able to see a Formula 1 race in their lives. I felt like we had to repeat the experience and try to do it even better. Seeing so many happy faces on Saturday when I paid them a visit after Qualifying was something very special, so this year we have doubled the number of tickets available. Last year there were 1.000 tickets, now we will start with 2.500. Don’t miss out!