He returns to Q3 with a brilliant lap and dreams with scoring points at the American track
Austin, October 22nd 2016.- Carlos Sainz produced today one of his best Qualifying performances as a Formula 1 driver after securing the tenth spot for the Starting Grid of the United States Grand Prix. The happiness is not only about the result, because in Singapore, for example, Carlos qualified sixth. The joy comes by the fact that the Spaniard of Scuderia Toro Rosso performed well in Austin, a place which is not the ideal scenario for his car, which indeed was the slowest one in the Speed-Trap and had suffered a series of setbacks in Free Practice 3 earlier in the day.
Action began in warm conditions, with air temperature up to 23 degrees and the track at 35. Qualifying was always going to be a tough challenge, especially after the lack of mileage in Free Practice 3. Nevertheless, Carlos made himself a place among the Top 10 straight from his first timed-lap. In his second Q1 run he clinched the eleventh place, which was more than enough to make his way to the following round.
In Q2, the Spaniard started on used supersofts and was P11 again. But the best was yet to come. He changed to brand new tyres and climbed up to eighth with a perfect lap. Carlos was three tenths faster and five spots higher than his teammate. This result enabled him to carry on to Q3, the third and final phase of the afternoon.
Finally in Q3, Carlos gave his best but couldn’t leave the Williams behind as he had previously did. He set the tenth fastest time, which represents a spot in the fifth row of the grid for tomorrow’s event.
The driver felt happy as he got out of his car. “It was a long time coming since the last time we were in Q3. It was in Singapore, a place where the engine is less important than here indeed. I could hardly believe my lap-time when I checked it, I could hardly believe that we had made it to Q3 in eighth place. It was the same for the team. It was one of the sweetest surprises of this second half of the year. Our performance was unknown, as he lacked mileage in Free Practice 3, so I was very happy”.
But Q3 has a price, as tomorrow Carlos won’t be free to choose on which tyres he starts. “It was a long time coming since we last were in this position, but tomorrow we will start on supersofts and that will force us to do a slower race than our rivals, who may begin on mediums or softs. We must be cautious, tomorrow can be tough. But no one can take apart today’s happiness!".
The United States Grand Prix will commence tomorrow at 14:00 local time, 21:00 Spanish time. We will follow it via www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.