Consistent race and no mistakes from the Toro Rosso driver
Carlos Sainz finished the Australian Grand Prix in ninth place. The first race on the calendar proved to be challenging and thrilling, and it was crucial to keep the head cool to not give in to pressure and make mistakes. The reward, two points.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver started from seventh place on the grid. His start was good and clean, and after going through Turn 1 he focused on stabilizing his pace to run away with the leading group, always on the same position he gained yesterday in Qualifying.
Carlos was one of the first drivers to come in to pits, as he wasn't able to overtake Williams' Felipe Massa, slower than him at that point on the race. Carlos moved from supersoft tyres to softs and although he returned at the back of the grid he started his way back to the front and the points with brave moves on Massa and McLaren's Jenson Button.
A scary crash between Esteban Gutierrez and Fernando Alonso -both drivers are OK- caused a red flag. Carlos was ninth but moved up to sixth because some of his rivals choose to change tyres at that time. Behind of him was the World Champion himself, Lewis Hamilton.
After the restart, which he did on soft tyres, the Toro Rosso held Hamilton under control and moved up to fifth aided by Kimi Raikkonen's retirement. Carlos then came to the Pit-Lane for one last time, on this occasion to get a new set of Mediums he'd use to get to the chequered flag. Other drivers had previously used that same compound.
Carlos found himself behind Renault's Jolyon Palmer, who was slower overall but faster than him at the straights, what made Carlos' life difficult for ten laps before he overtook him at the braking zone of the first turn. Then Carlos made de most out of his consistent pace and cool mind to attack the following group, especially Williams' Valtteri Vottas. Max Verstappen, who was tenth and chasing Carlos, was never close enough to try an overtaking manoeuvre.
After the pressure he put on Bottas, Carlos received the chequered flag on ninth place, what represents two points for him. He matches the result he archived last year in his first race in Formula 1.
"It's been a crazy race. Everything could turn out perfect or wrong, in the end we had a mix of everything, although we must accept this ninth place. Seeing the pace the car had over the weekend, maybe it's not enough, but we've scored two points and we must carry on. We'll keep learning every single day", Carlos explained after stepping out of the STR11.
"In the second part of the race, when you are chasing drivers who are faster than you in top speed even with the DRS activated, overtaking becomes really difficult. Maybe we could have done something different from a strategical point of view, but it's very easy to talk now. All in all, the car is going fine and we'll have more opportunities to be in the points", he concluded.
Next race in the calendar is the Bahrain Grand Prix, which will be held in Sakhir in two weeks’ time, from April 1st to 3rd.