Mar 2, 2016

Carlos Sainz tests STR11 reliability with another 166 laps in Barcelona

Today no other car has done more kilometers than the Toro Rosso

Barcelona, March 2nd 2016.- Carlos Sainz completed successfully his first day with the Toro Rosso STR11 at the second week of preseason testing at Barcelona. The Spaniard run the official livery of its chassis, which was launched yesterday, and used the last aerodynamic improvements developed by the Faenza-based team. Carlos’ success didn’t come from his lap times but from his mileage: he did 166 laps, equivalent to two race distances and a half. He didn’t have any mechanical issues at all, something remarkable considering the car completed 768 kilometers. Carlos broke the personal record he set last week (161 laps). Today, no other car ran more than Carlos, who even outscored the Mercedes’ drivers.

Carlos began the morning session running a full set of sensors on the sidepods of his car. After some installation laps, he spent most of the morning doing short stints on medium tyres. During the first hours he alternated between the experimental medium compound and the official medium, which he used for the rest of the day. By the lunch break, Sainz had done 59 laps and held the seventh fastest lap time.

In the afternoon, he underwent a full race simulation with three stints of 22 laps, always on medium tyres. His pace was very constant. Later, he carried on doing long stints on mediums –and a final one on softs– to end the day with the insane amount of 166 laps, which will be very valuable in the preparations ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

This is what Carlos had to say after he jumped out of the car.

Q: Do you do a positive balance of the day after today’s marathon?

“Yes, this was our goal so far. To do so many laps is a great achievement for the whole team after the winter we went through. To be the second team with the most mileage completed proves this team can do big things. We are all smiling. We have done our homework so far. We have a good baseline. Last year it wasn’t usual at all to do more than 100 laps in a single day. This gives us good vibes”.

Q: What are you going to test tomorrow and Friday?

“We only have to leave for a bit the medium tyre and see how the car performs on other compounds. It’s the only thing that we have still to see, so far we have done it all”.

Q: Why did you use so much the medium compound?

“In testing you test things, this is why we have done so many laps on this compound. Last year it was our weakest point. We won’t stop until everything is perfect. It’s the philosophy we have chosen to follow. Until the last they there’s still time to show what the car is capable of”.

Q: Will we see anything new from the STR11 in the upcoming days?

“I am sure we will see a little bit more. We don’t have a choice but to test other compounds, I think we have run out of mediums!”.

Q: Will you have enough time to recover from such an effort?

“Yes, this only makes you fitter. It’s like running: the more you practice, the more fit you are. I am sure that when I get to Australia I will appreciate these 160 laps. Today I resisted better than in the last test, this means we are improving. I feel like my winter preparation –waking up early, lots of karting, lots of exercise- was worth the effort. I feel strong and fine”.

Q: Is the team happy too?

“Everyone is. My engineer Marco Matassa is always happy, but also the team. I think you can see it in their faces and in their words. We are all very happy. We are the second team that has completed the most laps, only after Mercedes. It is a good achievement for everyone, it proves that the team is growing up. Even though we had a tough winter, we are clocking laps non-stop and nothing breaks in the car. We still have small issues, I am not going to lie, but they’re very small. The car is always working and this is the best thing that could have happened to us ahead of Melbourne”.