The driver of Scuderia Toro Rosso feels satisfied for reaching Q3, but feels there was more potential in store
Spielbert, July 8th 2017.- Carlos Sainz had one goal in mind when he put himself behind the wheel of his car this afternoon: to reach Q3 with his Toro Rosso at the Austrian Grand Prix. One hour later, the Spaniard jumped out of his STR12 satisfied with his work as he clinched the tenth spot of the Starting Grid of the Red Bull Ring, where tomorrow he will try to score points.
Rain didn’t appear at any time during Qualifying, just as in the earlier sessions of the weekend. Nevertheless, it remains as a silent menace going into Sunday. Carlos arrived at Qualifying after overcoming a Free Practice 3 session that ended up being more difficult than expected, as an issue with a connector cable prevented him from running during the first 30 minutes. Nevertheless, the Spaniard recovered the lost time and drove at a competitive pace straight from Q1.
In Q1, Carlos used two sets of ultrasoft tyres. With the first one, he put himself on fifteenth place with a 1:06.556 lap. He would later take the cautious decision to try again and secure his ticket to the following round. He did so by clocking a 1:05.675 lap that put him on the fourth place of the standings, more than enough to move on.
In Q2, the battle was very tight as the midfield cars battled against themselves to be the ones to accompany the top teams in Q3. Carlos used two sets of tyres and advanced to the following round improving his fastest lap by a tenth of a second –1:05.544–. He was ninth, three tenths of a second faster than his teammate.
In the final and decisive Q3, Carlos set an early 1:05.726 on old tyres as he saved the new ones for the very last stint. Nevertheless, a yellow flag prevented him from showcasing his true pace. The yellow flag appeared when the Spaniard was about to start his second flying lap. He will start the race from tenth, aiming for a point-finish performance.
Carlos feels happy about today, but still feels a bitter-sweet regret due to the Q3 issues. “I just wanted to put a good lap together and finish the work, after all the good sensations I was feeling in Qualifying. Without the yellow flags, we could have fought for more”, he said.
The set-up of his STR12 improved with each session. “From Free Practice 3 onwards I saw the we could fight for something good. We did a good job. We chose our set-up wisely going into Q1 and in Q3 I felt ready to take a step. But it was not possible. We are close to the Top 7, which is always our goal. I didn’t think that could happen in this circuit, but we’ve been surprised”.
The Austrian Grand Prix will start tomorrow Sunday at 14:00 local time. As always, we will keep an eye on Carlos via his official website www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.