The Spaniard leads the ranking as the driver with the most points in the team’s history
Suzuka, October 8th 2017.- Carlos Sainz last race with Scuderia Toro Rosso didn’t unfold as expected. Carlos appearance at the Japanese Grand Prix was over at the first lap, as an overtaking manoeuvre finished in the run-off area.
The Spaniard competed today in his 56th and last race as a driver of Scuderia Toro Rosso, before joining Renault Sport F1 Team to contest the remaining rounds of the 2017 season and the entire 2018 Championship. It was time for goodbyes and Carlos didn’t hesitate to immortalize the moment with a group photo in the Starting Grid, before moving on to the next chapter in his professional career.
Carlos started from the nineteenth position of the grid, compromised by a 20 place penalty after changing some components in his power-unit (engine, Turbo and MGU-H). The positive note was that he had many brand-new sets of tyres in store, since Saturday’s Qualifying was essentially an opportunity to prepare for today’s race.
Carlos’ strategy included an opening stint on soft tyres, trying to stretch it to the limit to move up the field in pits. The supersoft compound would help him in the final stages of the event, in a last push for the points.
When the lights went off, Carlos started well and maintained the nineteenth place. He made it through the first corner and then entered the world-renowned esses area. He took the outside line to try and pass an opponent, but he was caught up by the lack of grip and the low temperature of his tyres. He ended in the gravel and couldn’t continue in the race.
The driver expressed his disappointment as he returned to the paddock, since this was not the farewell he had in mind this morning.
"We knew we would have to take risks to try and recover. I was nineteenth after the first two corners. I tried to take the outside line, but the tyres were too cold, the track very dirty, maybe because of previous races, and I went off".
"I wanted to do a good job for the team and have the best goodbye possible. I wanted to risk and when you take risks you open a door to the unexpected. Today is not the right day to talk about the future, today I have to apologize to the team. I didn’t want to end this way".
Carlos has raced in 56 Grand Prixes as an official driver of Toro Rosso since his Formula 1 debut in the 2015 Australian GP. He says goodbye with 112 points in total, an all-time record in the history of the team. His best result was a fourth place in the 2017 Singapore GP. His best Qualifying, a fifth place in the 2015 Spanish GP
The United States GP will mark Carlos’ debut with Renault Sport F1 Team, the team he will finish the season and contest the 2018 World Championship with. His yellow debut will be on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of October. As always, we will keep an eye on Carlos via his official website www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.