[F1 2017 NEWS] CARLOS SAINZ: SPANISH GUN

Carlos Sainz’s tougher physical training pre-season, including go-karting with a weighted helmet, has paid off. And he’s now a world away from the cold Misano circuit, where he began his third season with Toro Rosso – exiting the pits in the Renault-powered STR12, which had plenty of promise.

Fast forward to October, and he was in the works Renault challenging the established leader Nico Hülkenberg from his debut in Austin.

There, Hülkenberg retired with an oil pressure issue but Sainz finished seventh – one place off the squad’s best result this year. Both cars retired in Mexico, while in Brazil Sainz finished behind the German in 11th. 

It’s a been a solid start for the 23-year-old, who is on loan from Red Bull – and could return to the brand’s top team, should Daniel Ricciardo defect.

Sainz, though, is simply focused on making the most of his new opportunity, with Renault already reporting his influence has been immediate and beneficial, underlining his potential.

AUDIO QUOTE (English) CARLOS SAINZ,
F1 DRIVER, RENAULT:
“I hope to continue the positive trend that we are following since the first race. Obviously every race that goes past I feel more and more at home in the car and also in the team.”

It’s been a long-time coming for the Spaniard, who was overlooked for a seat at Red Bull Racing in 2016 – his former teammate Max Verstappen, with whom there is no love lost, getting the nod.

SOUNDBITE (English) MAX VERSTAPPEN,
F1 DRIVER, RED BULL RACING:
“I'm very happy with this opportunity of course. I have to say a big thanks to Red Bull and Dr Helmut Marko, for sure, and yeah now I just can't wait to jump into the car."

Now happily at Renault, Sainz knows that the last race of the year will be an important springboard into what should be an exciting 2018.

AUDIO QUOTE (English) CARLOS SAINZ,
F1 DRIVER, RENAULT:
“This is helping me to build up some confidence for next year. That is the main target and, yeah, let’s keep getting into the Q3 like we are doing and getting points.”