Good feelings overall despite some minimal difficulties
Barcelona, February 27th 2017.- Carlos Sainz successfully completed the first day of winter testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The driver of Scuderia Toro Rosso clocked 51 laps around the track in his first day with the brand new STR12, the first chance to get to know this new era of Formula 1.
Carlos noticed a sensible step forward in performance straight from the beginning and focused his attention on working on medium runs –approximately 10 laps long- on medium tyres. It wasn’t an easy start neither, as the STR12 is still totally new and so is its brand new Renault power-unit, which is totally different to the one Toro Rosso used last year.
As a consequence of that, the Spaniard spent more time than usual in pits between runs as his team tried and solved small issues on his car and its power train. It is for this reason that he finished with 51 laps and a personal best of 1’24”494, giving him the eighth place overall in the standings.
Once he got out of the car, Carlos expressed his positivity. “For me, the car is already a step forward compared to last year. You really feel the downforce and the grip as soon as you leave the pits. Plus, you suffer higher G-Forces, as we all expected, and I am happy because this means that the new cars are effectively faster!”
“The best is my feeling about this new regulation. The vibes are good. Everything is working as usual. The tyres are less keen to degradation and are much faster. I hope fans can feel that too. If you watch the cars go by at Turn 3 or Turn 9, you can really feel the difference”.
“The worst may be if you compare our number of laps to Mercedes’. Although they are not our main rival, we all would have loved to do more laps. Truth is we had the typical issues you always find in the first day of testing. It’s normal”.
His goal for these first days of testing will be to get to know the car. “We won’t exploit our pace this week. It’s not really worth it and we don’t want to take risks. The only thing we want is to do more laps. I really hope my teammate Daniil will be able to do so, and that I can clock more laps than him on the day after. It’s all about putting mileage to the car and getting to know its weaknesses and its strengths”.
Carlos is not surprised by the fact that the top-runners are already faster than the 2016 Spanish GP Pole Position.
“They all hide quite a few seconds in winter testing, because we are not running full power yet and the cars are heavier than in Qualifying. So the fact that the leaders are already faster than in 2016 just confirms to me that these cars will be much quicker this year!”
It is still to early to set any targets. “I am not setting any targets yet. First we must test the car properly and see the first race. Then we will think about the positions we want to be in this year”.
Winter testing will resume tomorrow at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but this time with Daniil Kvyat behind the wheel of the STR12. Carlos will spend the day in pits tracking the work of his team. We will follow closely his steps via www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.