Jun 16, 2016

Carlos Sainz, ready to face Baku's straights

It's not the ideal track for the team, but the Spaniard remembers that in Canada they overcame their expectations

Baku, June 16th 2016.- Carlos Sainz was in today's FIA Press Conference, the first one of the European Grand Prix weekend. The driver from Scuderia Toro Rosso arrives to Azerbaijan in his best result-streak as a Formula 1 driver -three consecutive races in the points- and is determined to work together with his team to prepare the STR11 for this new challenge, although he is conscious that the length of this track's straights may harm them because they're very speed demanding.

This is the first year that Formula 1 visits the Baku City Circuit, a six kilometer long track placed right in the heart of the city. It promises to be the fastest urban circuit around, even more than Montreal's Gilles Villeneuve. Its layout includes a total of 20 turns and a two kilometer straight were power will be key

The STR11 suffers from top speed, as it uses an engine from last season. Carlos knows this weekend will be a challenge from the very beginning, but is looking forward to discovering in person a track he's only seen in the simulator for now.
These were Carlos' first words with the media.

"Baku gives me a good feeling. It is a different track. I don't know whether it will be fun or not, but it's different and that's precisely what Formula 1 needs right now. We prefer the classic tracks, the European ones, but this one at least is different. If we're going to like it or not, that's something I don't know. I hope it creates a good race with overtaking maneuvers and slipstreams".

"In theory, this is not a good track for Toro Rosso. We go flat-out a lot of time. 25 seconds in the main straight and then another 15 seconds in the back-straight. Considering this, everyone who doesn’t use a Mercedes engine will be losing time during these 40 seconds. It's tough, but from the laps I've done in the simulator it does seem that the last straight will be flat-out (from Turn 16 onwards). I remember that part was quite tricky in the simulator, but the more challenges at the end you face, the more exciting it is for the driver".

"We will be working a lot on the set-up to try to find a good compromise, but you know in Canada we were expecting to be weak and we were not at all weak, we actually had really good pace in the race. Obviously we are not going to be as fast as in Monaco or Barcelona for sure but hopefully we can still fight the teams that we are fighting now".

"Pit-entry is quite compromised here, we'll talk tomorrow with Charlie Whiting to see of something can be changed, because now it looks at the limit to me. But it's a spectacular track, very fast and I'm sure that it will create an interesting race".

Toro Rosso has fought for a spot in Q3 in every Grand Prix so far, but in Azerbaijan it will be more difficult. "Among the ones we fight for Q3, there's Force India which here will win between 1 and 1,5 seconds thanks to its Mercedes engine. To recover that time in the twisty section is very complicated, even if we try to. Sadly it won't rain, but let's see what we can do in the race. 
Qualifying will be very complicated. Our fuel consumption is not that bad, because we are running so low on aerodynamics that we are really efficient".

"It’s going to be tough. In Australia we managed to qualify P5 and P7 and now in places like Canada or Azerbaijan we will struggle to get into Q3. We haven’t put that many upgrades on the car since Australia, but thanks to the good effort of the team we are not that much falling back, no? And we are still in the game, we are still fighting for P5 in the Constructors’, with the same car as in Australia, which is a huge achievement".

Free Practice 1 for the European Grand Prix will commence tomorrow Friday at 13:00 local time, 11:00 Spanish time.