He missed Q3 by 60 milliseconds but will be free to choose his initial tyres
Shanghai, April 7th 2017.- Carlos Sainz will start the Chinese Grand Prix from the eleventh grid slot. The Spaniard of Scuderia Toro Rosso fought his way to Q2 in the Qualifying that took place today at the Shanghai International Circuit, but missed the fight for the first ten positions by just 60 milliseconds.
Temperatures slightly decreased in Qualifying compared to Free Practice 3, although the track remained around 30ºC. Carlos began his work a few minutes into the session armed with a new set of supersoft tyres, the fastest option that Pirelli has brough to this track. He clocked a 1:34.567 lap which was good enough to grant him a ticket to Q2.
Carlos didn’t want to be complacent and started a second run on another set of tyres, but the red flag caused by Sauber’s Antonio Giovinazzi prevented him from finishing his second flying lap.
In Q2, Carlos set a 1:34.150 on a third set of supersofts. He was four tenths quicker than in his previous outing. He was seventh at first, but he fell to P10 as the chequered flag fell down. The tremendous fight among the mid field and some issues on the rear end of his car meant he couldn’t improve. Sergio Perez did and sent Carlos to the eleventh starting position. He was only 60 milliseconds away from Q3.
The Spaniard will start tomorrow from the clean side of the grid, although weather forecasts say there is a high risk of rain. Although he missed the fight for the Top 10, he believes P11 is a strong foundation he can build his race upon.
"We knew it was going to be very difficult to reach Q3 here. We missed it by less than a tenth, very little. Every millisecond counts when the fight is so tight. In Qualifying you try to find the limits and in Q2 I missed some traction in some areas compared to Q1. Still, we didn’t make any major mistakes”.
Talking about the weather forecast, he says he expects a good rain no matter if it rains or not. "We will welcome rain if it comes, because it may bring some opportunities. Let’s see, but it won’t be any major drama. We are starting from the clean side and we have the freedom to select our tyres. We will aim for points with or without rain, so tomorrow we want to seize that chance".
Despite his good racing record in the wet, Carlos remains cautious as nobody has had a real feel of how the new cars behave on these tyres. "Usually, we are strong in the wet. But we don’t know how our car will do in the rain, just as our rivals don’t know about their cars. The car is good, but maybe it doesn’t have that extra load that it used to have in the last couple years. We will see!".
The Chinese Grand Prix will start tomorrow at 08:00 CET, 14:00 local time in Shanghai. We will cover it live via www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.