The Spaniard will compete in Sochi, where in 2015 he had his biggest crash
Madrid, April 26th 2016.- The Russian Grand Prix is not just another race for Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard from Scuderia Toro Rosso will be once again in the land where in 2015 he suffered the biggest crash of his professional career. It is a remembrance that doesn't affect his will to push for points. In fact, last year he already did a phenomenal race in which he recovered 13 places before retiring due to a mechanical issue on his brakes.
Today Carlos arrives at Sochi after scoring points in Shanghai, where he finished ninth after many fights and overtaking maneuvers. The goal is to go one step further in this positive trend and translate into results the good sensations given by the STR11 on track. Sochi will be a great track to do so, as it is the last round of the championship before the start of the European tour.
Last year's crash is still remembered at the Russian circuit. It was in Free Practice 3 when Carlos' Toro Rosso went into the side walls at Turn 12 before going off and crashing into the barriers at its ran-off, where it was stuck under the TecPro barriers. Barriers were not properly secured and didn't absorb the energy of the crash, which resulted into a difficult rescue that lasted for 20 minutes. Fortunately, Carlos was sent conscious to Sochi's hospital number 4, where doctors checked his condition. He spent six hours there before asking to be released so he could compete on the following day. He started last, but recovered up to seventh and would have scored points had he not had an issue with the brakes that forced him to retire.
This season Sochi's organizers have asked for their TecPro barriers to be checked before the event takes place to ensure they'd perform well in case a similar crash occurs.
These were Carlos' first words about the Russian Grand Prix.
"When racing in Sochi, at the start of the lap there's a lot of slipstream, so it's possible to arrive to Turn 2 with four cars side by side... One thing I don't like, especially here at this second corner, is the wide tarmac run-off areas, where a lot of cars just run wide instead of committing to the corner".
"Turn 3 is a very nice corner which is flat or very close to it – it's such a long corner and you just keep upshifting, reaching quite high lateral g-forces. I remember that Turn 4 is a good overtaking spot. After that there are four consecutive 90 degree corners, which are exactly the same, before arriving to the back straight".
"Turn 13 is another good place for overtaking, but what this part of the circuit brings to mind is my terrible crash from last year – I'd say the biggest of my career so far. The final part of the circuit consists of another four 90 degree corners. The walls are also pretty close throughout the lap, which makes it a bit more of a challenge".
"Last year's race was quite exciting so I hope for another one like that and to be able to continue scoring points!
JOHN BOOTH ARRIVES AT TORO ROSSO
Another highlight for the Russian Grand Prix will be John Booth's arrival at the team as director of racing. The 61-year-old Brit will reinforce the team’s organization during race week-ends.
"It is a great honour to join such a well-established and competitive team as Scuderia Toro Rosso" said John Booth. "It is a team that has achieved so much in a relatively short space of time. I am looking forward to getting started and working with Franz and the team this weekend in Sochi", said Booth.
Franz Tost welcomed him. "I have known John for many years and I am delighted to welcome him to the team. Formula 1 is becoming ever more complex, with recent changes on the tyre front, car set-up, radio communications and so forth. Therefore, having a competitive car and talented drivers, both of which we have, on its own is not enough. With his vast experience I am sure John will help the team raise its game and become a more effective force over a race weekend", said Toro Rosso's team principal.