He was the only surviving Toro Rosso in Q2, but there was no potential left in the STR11 for today
Monza, September 3rd 2016.- Carlos Sainz will start the Italian Grand Prix from the fifteenth spot of the grid after reaching Q2 with his Toro Rosso and making the most out of what was available, which today was less than in the first half of the season. His lap was the sixteenth fastest of the afternoon, but the Spaniard will gain a position thanks to Haas’ Romain Grosjean penalty.
Sun shined all day long over the Autodromo Nazionale, with ambient temperature at 29 degrees and track temperature at 40 degrees. Carlos waited eight minutes before hitting the track, but still managed to do two fast laps, both on new supersoft tyres. He first set a decent 1’23”823 and later improved further to 1’23”661, enough to clinch the thirteenth spot in the first Qualifying round and with it a ticket to Q2, which was the goal that had been set prior to the session.
He was the only Toro Rosso remaining in Q2. Carlos drove on new tyres from the very beginning and even ran eleventh for a few minutes. His rivals saved their new rubbers for a last-minute try, and as they used them the Spaniard returned to a more realistic position. Carlos set his fastest lap of the weekend, but it only gave him the sixteenth spot on the timesheets, a spot that later evolved to the fifteenth thanks to the penalty given to Haas’ driver Romain Grosjean for changing the gearbox.
After jumping out of the car, Carlos was happy with his pace although not quite so with his final position. "I would say it wasn't bad. When you've spent all the year fighting for Q3, points, P8, P9... A P16 is not a very sweet result, but yesterday we didn't progress any further than P18 or P19 and today there was a moment when we were up P12 or P13. Then our rivals went out on new tyres and they did their fast laps, and we saw our real place, which is the border between Q1 and Q2. I had fun in the car, Monza is a circuit that I love and I know that there wasn’t much left in the car".
Carlos' will for tomorrow is to lose as less time as possible and to avoid getting lost in fights. "Tomorrow will be a different story. We chose a set-up that was better for Qualifying than the race to try to qualify a little further ahead, but we can't ask for much more than P16 when there's a 20 kilometer/hour deficit to our rivals. Tomorrow we'll have to focus on our own race and try not to get in trouble, because it's likely that because of our Top Speed we'll lose every little fight we have. But we'll give our very best, as always".
Strategy will be less important than in other events. "The base strategy will be a two-stopper, but anyway we know that we don't have many chances of making it to the points".