Trouble-free race in which he used his car at its maximum
Sochi, April 30th 2017.- Carlos Sainz completed another solid Formula 1 race and was rewarded with points once again, after doing a good start and not making any mistakes at Sochi, home to the Russian Grand Prix. The Spaniard of Scuderia Toro Rosso converted a P14 on the Starting Grid into a P10 as he crossed the finish line, something especially important since it was a track where overtaking was almost impossible. With this result, he equals his team’s record at this circuit.
The sun shined once again by the Black Sea as Russia prepared for its Formula 1 race, which was held on much warmer conditions than previously in the weekend. As the lights went off, Carlos overtook his teammate Daniil Kvyat in the first lap and benefited from a mistake by Lance Stroll to take P12 by the time the Safety-Car appeared on track due to a crash between two cars at Turn 2.
When the race was restarted, Daniel Ricciardo retired and Carlos moved up to eleventh. That was not enough to leave behind Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, who stayed ahead during the opening stint. Although the Dane had a slower pace, Carlos didn’t have enough Top Speed to try the overtaking. Magnussen pitted in Lap 22 and Carlos made the most out of his ultrasoft tyres before changing them for a set of supersofts. In doing so, he left behind Magnussen, who also took a five second penalty for track-limits in the first lap.
Carlos was tenth, but he could not fight for a greater reward due to the time that was lost behind the Haas earlier in the race. Plus, in the last phase of the race he had to drive carefully since he was asked to take the car home after the team discovered a few issues on its rear-end. Still, the pace within the STR12 was not enough to threaten the Williams and the Force Indias. Carlos finished the Grand Prix in tenth place and scored points for the third time this year.
As he jumped out of the car, Carlos felt satisfied in his first analysis. “I am happy with today’s race. We knew this weekend was compromised, because it is a track that doesn’t suit our car very well. We lost quite a lot to the Force Indias and the Williams in the straights, so scoring a point despite the penalty and these issues is something that we can be happy with”.
Carlos highlighted the lost time during the first stint behind Magnussen, whom he couldn’t overtake due to the difference in Top Speed. “It was a very positive Sunday, because we knew that coming back would be very difficult. We had to get everything perfect. We did a great start, a perfect first lap. It is a shame that we spent so much time behind Magnussen. We couldn’t overtake him and we lost ten seconds. By the time we passed him in pits, the others were too far ahead”.
Finally, Carlos congratulated the race winner and talked about the upcoming round on the calendar. “Congratulations to Valtteri [Bottas] on his first victory in Formula 1. He did a really good weekend, so he can enjoy it. Now I’m really looking forward to the Spanish GP, looking forward to the upgrades, because we are starting to lack a bit of pace and pieces to fight the Williams and the Force Indias. I’m really looking forward to racing at home and I wish to invite all the fans to come and show their support for Fernando and myself, so we can be a bit faster than this weekend”.
As Carlos said, the next stop is the Spanish Grand Prix in the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where Carlos will have a chance to try and repeat, if not improve, the results he has secured there in the past. He will try so feeling the support of his fans. 3.000 of them will be waving Carlos’ flag at his grandstand. For those of you who can’t make it to the circuit, we will offer you all the information regarding Carlos via www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.