Tomorrow he will start from fifteenth, but eager to regain places
Baku, June 24th 2017.- Carlos Sainz achieved the twelfth fastest lap overall in the Qualifying session for the 2017 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but he will start tomorrow’s race from the fifteenth spot on the grid due to the penalty he received in the last Canadian GP.
Under clear blue skies and high track temperatures, the Spaniard of Scuderia Toro Rosso managed to comfortably make his way from Q1 to Q2 with a 1:43.489 lap. In the second round, Carlos improved to 1:43.347, his fastest lap of the weekend, but it was not enough to access the last part of Qualifying, Q3.
After getting out of his STR12, Carlos spoke his thoughts. "We knew this was going to be a pretty difficult weekend, but maybe we struggled more than we expected to gain confidence in the car. Yesterday I was lacking a bit and it is difficult to reach the limits in a circuit like Baku when you don’t have the confidence. I managed to put some decent sectors, but never all together to get the perfect lap".
The Spaniard is not worried too much about the penalty. His focus is on the race. "I haven’t thought about the penalty at all, this weekend. I don’t think it is a disaster. Things can happen here, so we will try to recover and have fun".
The nature of the Baku City Circuit was no help. "It is very difficult. The car behaves in different ways in each corner. It depends on where you are, it depends of the condition of your tyres… It is a very special circuit for that. You really need to feel that confidence and I was missing that feeling. We didn’t find that extra tenths that you can find by having confidence in your car. Had we had it all, had we done the perfect lap, I still think that Q3 would have been really difficult due to the ever-long straights. But everything changes in the race, so let’s go for it".
Carlos give more details about the difficulties he encountered along the way. "You put all together and maybe 1’42"9 was possible, but we lacked a bit, probably due to the low downforce we have to run to have the same Top Speed as our main competitors. It’s been the story of the weekend. You can really feel it when you come into a corner, maybe the car slides too much", he said.
He expects a one-stop race and is willing to take his car to the maximum. "It will be a one-stopper race with Qualifying pace. Plus, there’s a big difference if you compare it to today, that because you can put a lot of laps together you can get into the rhythm and find that sweet-spot. It’s more difficult to get that feeling right in Qualifying".
This doesn’t mean that the Azerbaijan GP will be an easy Grand Prix. "I hope so, I hope that our competitors do make mistakes and that we can benefit from them", he laughed. "Anyway, it will be a difficult race. Tows really help, the track is narrow and every little mistake can send you off into the wall".
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix will be held tomorrow at 17:00 local time, 15:00 Spanish time. We will follow Carlos’ progress via his official website www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.