He will focus on recovering ground in the race despite the lack of Top Speed
Sepang, October 1st 2016.- The Qualifying session of the Malaysia Grand Prix proved to be a tough battle ground for team Toro Rosso and Carlos Sainz, who finished with the sixteenth fastest time of the day and will start tomorrow from the eighth row of the starting grid.
Clouds hid the sun as the action progressed, with track temperature decreasing to 40ºC. The teams even feared the rain for a moment and that indeed could have played in favour of Toro Rosso. Nevertheless, the tracked remained dry during the whole Qualifying session.
Carlos used four sets of the soft compound, two of them in Q1 and the other two in Q2. It was fairly easy for him to make his way to the second phase as his first timed lap was good enough, but the Spaniard chose to play safe and improved his pace with a second flying lap.
But Q2 was a completely different story. Carlos clocked a 1'35"374 in his first stint, but he wasn't able to improve any further in his second try despite going slightly faster in the third sector. His time was pretty even to his teammate's -only five milliseconds between them-. Tomorrow he's going to fight his way back.
Carlos had already warned about Q3 not being a realistic target for this Grand Prix, although he admits that the final result is not as good as he expected it to be.
"A very tough Qualifying, just as we expected. We were P9 in Free Practice 3 and that had given us some confidence, but Qualifying sent us back to reality, which is P15 and P16", he explained. "We're maybe where we were in Spa or Monza. Truth is I'm not very happy because we were hoping for something more. Q3 was impossible, but maybe beating the Renaults, a Haas.... It didn't turn out that way in the end".
Compensating the lack of Top Speed of the STR11 is a difficult task in Sepang. "In a circuit like this it's very hard to make the difference. All cars are good here because there's a lot of grip, so it's very difficult to find two or three tenths all of a sudden in a lap".
Carlos' will is strong. "For tomorrow, for the race, we will have to go for everything. A disappointing Qualifying can't take away neither my hunger nor my energy for tomorrow's race. We will go for everything knowing beforehand that points will be very difficult, but we must fight for it even if P11 or P12 is the maximum that's available for us. Today I thought it would rain, there were lots of clouds indeed, but nothing happened in the end".
Rain could mix the race. "We may need that rain for tomorrow; we need things to happen in front of us. We know that our car is good for P12 or P12 if there's not a crazy race", Carlos concluded.