He is cautious regarding his Q3 options despite this morning's result
Sepang, October 1st.- Carlos Sainz made the ninth fastest lap of the morning in the third and final Free Practice session of the Malaysia Grand Prix, the prologue to today's Qualifying. The driver from Scuderia Toro Rosso clocked a 1'36"222, which put him 1"788 seconds behind the leader. His goal is to make it to Q3 later today, although he is conscious that his chances are very slim.
Ambient temperature was 32ºC and the track was at 52C as a new day begun at the Sepang International Circuit. There was less grip than yesterday and the initial lap-times were slower too, although by the end of the session they were already five tenths faster than in Free Practice 2.
Carlos improved six tenths. He started on a set of hard tyres, on which he completed 10 laps before switching to mediums. He clocked five laps on them before coming in to the pits to move on to Pirelli's soft option and prepare himself for a Qualifying simulation. It was then when he achieved the mentioned 1'36"222, which put him inside the Top 10.
After getting out of his STR11, Carlos showed his optimism after seeing his performance on the softest compound. "Yes, on softs the car is quite better. All the problems we may have on hards and mediums are pretty much solved, although we must take into consideration that our time arrived in a moment when the track itself was faster. The circuit evolves a lot during the weekend when its surface is so green. We must be cautious with what we see in the standings. Yesterday I said we had a 10% chance of making it to Q3, I say the same today".
The lack of Top Speed was still a struggle as the Toro Rossos were the slower cars on the field, but Carlos is in good spirits. "We know that that will happen all year long unless we race with the Monza wing, so I prefer not to have a look at it because it can be frustrating. We must do whatever is possible with what we have in hand".
Regarding tomorrow's strategy, Toro Rosso has chosen to make use of its last new set of medium tyres. "We think that in the race it will be hard and soft, we wouldn't have used the medium compound in this practice if we thought different. But tomorrow the hard compound is mandatory, so we will have to use it. We must save soft tyres".
Qualifying for the Malaysia GP will begin at 11:00 Spanish time. We will follow it live via www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.