May 14, 2017

Carlos Sainz, seventh at the Spanish GP: "We can feel happy with this, good recovery"

The driver of Scuderia Toro Rosso regains five places and scores points at home

Barcelona, May 14th 2017.- Carlos Sainz finished seventh in the Spanish Grand Prix, a race where the Spaniard avoided racing incidents and retirements to move up from his starting twelfth position to a final seventh as he crossed the finish line. With this result, Carlos scores six more points for the Championship and holds on to the tenth place in the Drivers’. Plus, this was the fourth time this season that he enters the Top 10.

Today was a special day for Carlos, because he raced at home. At 12:00, the driver of Scuderia Toro Rosso hopped on the Drivers’ Parade to salute the 94.000 fans that today attended the event at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Carlos got off at the sector to get closer to the fans at the Pelouse, where he gave away caps and t-shirts, and thanked them for their continuous support.

When he arrived back to the Pit-Lane, Carlos put on his racing suit and got behind the wheel of his Toro Rosso STR12 as he made his way to the twelfth place of the Starting Grid. The Spaniard knew the start would be a crucial part of the race, since overtaking is very difficult at the Circuit, especially for those cars that are slower on straight-line. When the lights went off, Carlos overtook two cars going into Turn 1 but had to run wide in the following turn to avoid crashing into two cars that had collided. Although that cost him momentum, he still finished the opening lap on ninth place, three positions ahead of his original one.

Carlos was then at the tail of Kevin Magnussen’s Haas, who was faster than him at the straights. In Lap 13, Sainz and Magnussen entered the pits at the same time. Knowing he needed that overtake, Carlos gave his very best. Toro Rosso was quicker in pits and Carlos gained a few meters, but that was not enough to pass him. At the pit-exit, Carlos waved to the outside and quickly turned-off the speed limiter. The Spaniard had better traction, but he had to give up since his car was going on grass and overtaking was not possible. 21 laps later, Carlos managed to get pass with an undercut on the second pit-stop.

After passing Magnussen and clinching an extra place thanks to Valtteri Bottas’ retirement, Carlos focused his attention on Pascal Wehrlein and his seventh place. The Spaniard attacked at Turn 1, but his rival resisted. The marshals would later impose a five-second penalty on the German for an infringement while entering the pits and Carlos chose then not to take any more risks and control the gap to the Sauber to secure the seventh place.

When greating the media, Carlos felt satisfied with the work he had done. "I think we can be pretty happy. I started from P12, I don’t think there was much more left, mainly with the race we had. I attacked all the time, I was faster than the cars in front all the time, but at a Circuit like Barcelona overtaking is difficult and we were 8 kilometres/hour down on Top Speed. So we can be happy finishing seventh".

"We managed to get a couple spots at the start, but I lost them because I had to go wide at Turn 2 to avoid Räikkönen and Verstappen. It is because of this that we didn’t get as many places as we would have wished. Anyway, we were still ninth. From then on, I tried to attack Magnussen on the opening part of the race but he had 5 or 7 kilometres/hour more than me. We did a great job at the pits to get him and then attacked all the race to finish seventh", he said.

The Spaniard expressed his views on the move with Magnussen at the first pit-stop. "I exited the pits wheel to wheel with him, because I had good traction. But there was no room for the two of us. I would have done the same had I been him, probably. Had he touched the white line, he would have been given a penalty. We had to try. It was the home Grand Prix, I tried my best to overtake".

Carlos believes his results will improve as soon as he receives and upgrade on the power-unit. "We were two tenths short from P7 on the grid yesterday. We need to take that step and I am confident that it will arrive, although we may need two or three more races. We have to be patient. In Qualifying, we are not where we want to be but it looks like we improve later in the race. It’s now been four races in a row where I have had to recover from a starting position that was not ideal, but I am confident that the whole year won’t be like this", he concluded.

The next round on the calendar is the Monaco Grand Prix, which will be held in the legendary urban circuit between May 25h and 28th. As usual, we will follow Carlos Sainz’s progress closely via his official website and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.