The Spaniard was the fastest among non-Mercedes engine cars
Baku, June 17th 2016.- Friday is over at the European Grand Prix, and the day came to its end with Carlos Sainz on the ninth spot of the Free Practice 2 standings. He leaves behind a learning day in which the lack of rubber laid on the asphalt was the major issue encountered by most drivers.
Track activity developed under clouded skies and in cooler conditions than this morning. It was interrupted twice by virtual safety-cars. The first one was due to a mechanical issue on Nico Rosberg's Mercedes. The second one, because Kimi Räikkönen had stopped his Ferrari in a run-off.
Carlos made the most out of the 90 minute practice to work with the two softest compounds broght by Pirelli to this event, that is, the soft and the supersoft compounds. He improved his morning time by three seconds and completed the double amount of laps, 36 nonetheless.
The Spaniard begun with a six-lap stint on the soft tyres and then moved to a nine-lap run on the supersoft. It was in that second stint when he set his fastest time of the day, a 1'46"0 which brought him to the sixth place. Afterwards, he completed another three laps on the used-softs and a race simulation of 16 laps on the used supersofts.
Although Baku's characteristics should not play in favor of Toro Rosso, the Spaniard was the fastest driver in the Speed-Trap for Sector 3, where he reached 351 kilometers/hour.
These were Carlos words for the media:
"It was a new challenge for all of us out there today, as it was our first time driving at this track. It’s a high-speed circuit with very close walls and tight run-off areas, which requires maximum precision and concentration. The long straights here in Baku also make you run low downforce at a street circuit, which is something new in Formula 1. So, it was an interesting day. I took it little by little in both FP1 and FP2 and had quite a bit of fun trying to find out where the limit is. In general we kept it “more or less” clean and we were able to learn a lot for tomorrow. We expect different conditions to today, which was very cloudy, windy and therefore more difficult. I’m pleasantly surprised with this track, I like it. Before today I had only driven it on the sim and I have to say that doing it for real is much better: in the sim the walls are transparent, while here you have the excitement of being so close to them… the adrenaline rush you feel around these streets is big and I really enjoyed it out there today! It’s a fun challenge and I look forward to tomorrow!".
The third and final Free Practice session of the European Grand Prix will begin on Sunday at 14:00 local time, 12:00 Spanish time. Qualifying will commence at 17:00 (15:00 in Spain).