Long runs for the Spaniard on the supersoft and the ultrasoft compounds
Spielberg, July 1st 2016.- Formula 1 roars in the Styrian mountains as drivers kick off the Austrian Grand Prix with the first Free Practice session of the weekend. Carlos Sainz earned an interesting sixth place after 34 laps around the Red Bull Ring on which his focus was on the pace of his Toro Rosso STR11 in long run conditions.
Carlos only used two Pirelli compounds: the supersoft one, used in his installation lap and his first timed lap, and the ultrasoft one, the chosen one for the rest of the morning. The Spaniard ran within the Top 10 all the time, although his priority was not to set a fast lap but to set-up his car in a proper way for the remaining of the weekend, including Sunday's race.
Both for the Spaniard and his team, it was important to discover the grip levels of the new asphalt and if that affected somehow their tyres longevity. In that regard, Carlos' 1'08"803 lap was three seconds faster than the one he set last year in Free Practice. This immense margin comes from the resurfaced track, the improvement within the car and also the tyres.
It is especially interesting to take into consideration the fact that Carlos' fastest lap arrived on the eighth lap of his first ultrasoft run. He was able to clock 23 laps on them in three different stints, one of nine laps, the second one of six and the third and final one, of nine.
It was a productive and positive session for the driver from Scuderia Toro Rosso, as he was only beaten by the Mercedes, the Ferraris and Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull, even though the weekend is very long. Some of Carlos' main oponents went for the hardest compound available, like Force India for example. Regardless, in this very first Free Practice session the leader set a new historic record for the track.