Aug 27, 2017

Carlos Sainz scores a point at the Belgian Grand Prix: "Good pace, I am very happy"

The driver of Scuderia Toro Rosso has clinched points at every race he has finished in 2017

Francorchamps, August 27th 2017.- Carlos Sainz scored an important point today for the Formula 1 World Championship at the Belgian Grand Prix, where he recovered from thirteenth to tenth as he crossed the finish line. The Spaniard has clinched points at every race he has finished this season. This result is even more important when taken into consideration the fact that Spa-Francorchamps was not a friendly circuit for the Toro Rosso STR12.

Carlos had qualified on fourteenth place before arriving today at the track, but Jolyon Palmer was given a five-place penalty after an unexpected gearbox change. The Spaniard gained a spot and started from thirteenth, from the clean side of the grid.

The race was held under a cloudy sky, with an air temperature of 23ºC and the track at 31ºC. It didn’t rain, despite the weather forecasts issued on Friday. Carlos had to take the inside line going into La Source and down to Eau Rouge, in what proved to be a very difficult start for him.

Aware of their low Top Speed, the Spaniard and his team chose to change strategies and try to finish the Grand Prix with a single pit-stop. It was the most sensible option, since the Toro Rosso was not able to overtake in the straights. In Lap 19, Carlos pitted and changed his ultrasofts for a brand-new set of soft tyres. He had 25 laps ahead of him.

In Lap 29, the Toro Rosso had an unexpected pit-stop after suffering a puncture. Carlos put on a set of supersofts. Luckily, this puncture happened when the Safety-Car had just left the pits because of debris. Carlos was eleventh after his pit-stop, but improved to tenth and held on to that position until the chequered flag. It was his eighth race in the points this year. He has 36 points in total.

Carlos felt satisfied about the day. "I finished the weekend in Spa feeling very happy. We have scored another point, I think we deserved it. I have finally finished a race in this circuit as a Formula 1 driver, and I have done so in the points in a track that was difficult for us", he said.

"I was stuck in the start; I had no place to go in the first turn. Those of us who were in the inside line almost had to go to neutral. After that, I changed strategies to a one-stopper. First ultrasofts, then softs. I believe we would have finished the race well, but then the race went a little bit crazy. The Safety-Car came out at an almost perfect moment and we could overtake a few cars to get to the chequered flag with a good result", he explained.

Carlos explained why he chose the supersofts for the final stint of his race. "It was fine. That compound is at no-man’s land, it doesn’t have the grip of the ultrasoft and it is not as durable as the soft. You never know when to use it, but it worked out just fine for me today".

Today’s result exceeds his expectations. "Before coming to Spa, I thought it would be very, very difficult to score points. It was a nice surprise to see that our pace was decent. We have earned this result thanks to our good pace and our low tyre-wear".

Carlos won races at Spa-Francorchamps in his days in the junior formulae, but he didn’t finish the Belgian Grand Prix in his two previous outings. Today was a different story. "I could recover from the last years. I have always felt very comfortable in this circuit, I have raced here since my youth, but I wanted to put up a good race with a Formula 1 car. Today I have finally done so".

"There are a couple circuits where we thought we would not be able to score points. We’ve scored points in one of them so far. Now let’s see how Monza goes. We will go with low expectations. We know points will be almost impossible, but it was the same case care and we’ve achieved one. This year, we have been in the points in each race we have finished. We will keep up the good work, trying to extend that strike", he concluded.

The next round on the calendar is the Italian Grand Prix, which will be held next week at the beautiful Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, near Milan. As always, we will keep you up to date with everything related to Carlos via his official website and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.