Jul 28, 2017

Carlos Sainz sets his sights on Q3 after Free Practice 2 at the Hungarian GP

The driver of Scuderia Toro Rosso set the ninth fastest time of the day

Mogyoród, July 28th 2017.- Carlos Sainz finished ninth in the second Free Practice session of the Hungarian Grand Prix of Formula 1. The Spaniard of Scuderia Toro Rosso completed 35 laps around the Hungaroring and set a fastest time of 1'19"834, which consolidated him as the third fastest driver behind the three top teams.
As usual in Budapest, summer produced a hot and sunny Friday for the opening day of the magyar event. Weather conditions were similar to the ones seen in the morning session, although slightly hotter. The air temperature was 26 degrees Celsius while the track was around 33. The track gained grip, but there were many mistakes along the grid during the 90 minute session. 

After working with the three Pirelli compounds during the morning session, Carlos wanted to focus his attention on the race preparation. His work was compromised by two red flags that escapted his control. Still, the Toro Rosso STR12 proved to have good pace around the Hungaroring.
When the lights went out, Carlos hit the track equipped with a set of soft tyres. His opening stint was 10-laps long. He was able to beat the time he had set with supersofts in Free Practice 1, as he improved to 1:20.600.

After crossing the 30 minutes mark, the Spaniard switched to supersofts. The driver of Scuderia Toro Rosso performed an 8-lap run, during which he clocked his fastest laps of the day. He began with a 1:20.2, but before returning to the pits he found another four tenths and clocked a 1:19.834 to reafirm his Q3 possibilities ahead of Saturday's Qualifying.  The Spaniard beat his teammate by nine tenths of a second and was just a tenth short from the seventh position, which demonstrates once again just how tight the midfield is.

When the time came to work on the longer runs, which are useful to analyze tyre behavior,  red flags didn't help the Spaniard at all. Just when he was in his first warm-up lap, Pascal Wehrlein lost control of his car and crashed into Turn 11. Minutes later, when Carlos had already completed four laps, Jolyon Palmer went off at the last turn.

Carlos remained cautious as he approached the media. "Overall, it was a positive day. Free Practice 1 was trickier, because we didn't have the best balance. We have introduced quite a few bits in the car and it took us a bit of time to understand them. We did very good steps for Free Practice 2 and we managed to roll back to where we expected to be, although we see that other teams have progressed too. In the end, it was a day in which we managed to do some progress and now I am looking forward to tomorrow".

He also discussed the new bits on his STR12. "The new parts are inside the car, there are quite a lot of them. The team is pushing hard to optimize the car, we know its margin of improvement. Initially, it was difficult to understand the aero bits that the team has brought here, but now I think we are getting on top of them".

Last, he said a few words about his long-runs and the race preparation. "Long run wise, I think we all had a bit of a question mark with the supersoft how long you could go. Short run, we more or less managed to extract what we had today. Following this year's trend, I would be more bias to a two-stop race. It's very early days. Tomorrow everybody will give it a go in FP3 to see what happens. We will too!", he concluded.

The Hungarian Grand Prix will continue tomorrow Saturday with the third and final Free Practice session at 11:00 Spanish time, followed-up by Qualifying at 14:00 to decide the starting order for Sunday's race. As always, we will follow Carlos closely via his official website www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.