He accomplished his goal and tomorrow he will start from the clean side of the grid
Mogyoród, July 29th 2017.- Carlos Sainz accomplished his goal of making it to Q3 in the Qualifying session of the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Spaniard of Scuderia Toro Rosso set the tenth fastest lap of the day, but will start from nine because one driver has to take a grid penalty. It was the 21st time that Carlos secured himself a place within the Top 10 of the Starting Grid.
Before the Grand Prix, Toro Rosso expected the Hungaroring to be a positive scenario for the STR12. But since some teams have done great progresses here, today's result was even more important. No points are given on Saturday, but the Spaniard took a step in the right direction ahead of Sunday's race.
Carlos used two sets of supersoft tyres in Q1. With the first one, he set a 1'19"291 that later evolved into a 1:19.199 before he made his way into the pits. Knowing that his rivals would improve, he and the team decided to hit the track once again on brand new tyres. It proved to be a good move and he managed to find a couple of tenths, securing his ticket to Q2 with a 1:18.948 lap.
The Spaniard would repeat the same strategy in Q2, where he also used two sets of Pirelli PZero supersoft tyres. His first flying lap was 1:18.682, but it was in the second one when he certified his presence in the final round thanks to an almost perfect lap. His 1'18"311 put him on tenth place, clinching a ticket to Q3. Carlos managed to beat teammate Daniil Kvyat by two tenths of a second.
In the third and final Q3, Carlos performed a single stint, aware of how competitive were the cars around him. His only timed-lap was 1'18"912, trying a different configuration for the front-wing that didn't work out as expected. He clinched the tenth place, but he will start from ninth since Nico Hülkenberg has to take a grid penalty.
After getting out of his STR12, Carlos felt satisfied about the work he had just done. "I am very happy, because this was one of the most tight Qualifying sessions of the whole year. Renault, for example, was much faster than yesterday. To beat one of them and to leave behind the Force India... I think it was one of my best laps in Formula 1".
Starting from the clean side of grid is also good news. "Yes, I knew that if we could make it to the Top 10 then we would win an extra position. So it is very positive, because we know that starting from the clean side helps a bit too. Ninth is within the points. We must keep pushing".
Tyre-management was not easy. "It was a very difficult day in terms of understanding the tyres, because they didn't really work straight-away from Lap 1. Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn't. That took away a bit of confidence, but when I finished my lap in Q2 I could say to myself 'this is all that we've got'. Strategy-wise, we are not sure yet because yesterday our long-running was compromised by the red-flags. We don't know what to expect".
Carlos' goal for tomorrow will be to have a trouble-free race. "Once we are inside the Top 10 and with the pace that we've got, we won't improvize at all. Today's result is very good. Tomorrow we will try to do a clean race".
The Hungarian Grand Prix will begin tomorrow Sunday at 14:00 Spanish time. As always, we will keep an eye on Carlos' progress via his official website www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.