Very satisfying long run on soft tyres to simulate race conditions
Sochi, April 29th 2016.- Free Practice 2 brought good sensations for Carlos Sainz, who earned the 11th spot on the standings with a 1'39"465 lap as his personal best. That leaves him 1"882 seconds away from the leader Lewis Hamilton. Carlos race pace was even better.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver ran on the soft tyres at first, but later moved on to the supersofts when the moment to set a fast time on low fuel arrived. Sadly his warm-up lap was neutralized by the presence of the Virtual Safety-Car due to a technical problem on Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari, and Carlos was forced to hold on. He tried again a few minutes later, this time with success as he achieved his fastest time of the day and consequently climbed to the 11th position.
From then on, as usually happens on a Friday afternoon, Carlos changed his mind set to focus on his race pace. Air temperature was at 16ºC and the track was at 38ºC, though it eventually reached 40ºC. These were the ideal conditions for the Toro Rosso to hit the track on a set of soft tyres and complete 22 laps with a fast and consistent pace. Too early to make any conclusions, but initial signs look positive. Overall, Carlos clocked 37 laps along the day and was one of the most active drivers of all.
These were Carlos' first words after stepping out of his STR11:
"We kick-off the week-end with good sensations. It went well; we completed our program as planned. Track surface is not too harsh and we managed to complete a good stint in race simulation mode. This afternoon and tonight we'll work with our engineers to be at our 100% tomorrow. It will be pretty tight and here to do well in Qualifying is a little bit more important because there will be drivers on Sunday that will try to cover the race with a single pit-stop".
Action will resume tomorrow in Sochi with the last Free Practice session for the Russian Grand Prix. It will commence at 11:00, Spanish time.