carlos sainz jr

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 27:  Carlos Sainz of Spain driving the (55) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 Ferrari 060/5 turbo on track  during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 27, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
© Getty Images

Sainz expecting ‘giant step forward’ in 2017 F1 car performance

Leave a comment

Carlos Sainz Jr. believes that the 2017-spec Formula 1 cars will offer a “giant step forward” in performance ahead of the first collective testing in two weeks’ time.

In a bid to make F1 cars multiple seconds per lap faster and look more radical, a number of significant changes have been made to the sport’s technical regulations for 2017.

Among them are aerodynamic tweaks that will give the cars more downforce and wider tires, both of which should amount to a sizeable gain in lap time.

“For us, every year driving the car is an incredible pleasure: the seat, the pedals, the feeling from the brake, the steering wheel. Every car has its tricks and you want to see how it is going to behave,” Sainz told Spanish newspaper Marca.

“Then yes, you get into your bubble and start to try things. And cars are getting better, but in particular, this year F1 will take a giant step forward in terms of performance: much larger tires, much higher levels of downforce.

“This year, when I get into the car, I’ll have a bit more of an itch [to race] because of that, because I know that the car is going to run much faster.”

Sainz will get his first taste of Scuderia Toro Rosso’s 2017 car, the STR12, on February 27 at the start of pre-season testing in Barcelona, Spain.

Toro Rosso passes crash test with 2017 F1 car

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - OCTOBER 01:  Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Toro Rosso and Spain during qualifying for the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on October 1, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
© Getty Images
Leave a comment

Scuderia Toro Rosso has passed the FIA crash test with its new car, the STR12, ahead of the 2017 Formula 1 season.

Toro Rosso is set to field an unchanged line-up from the end of the 2016 season, having raced with Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat from the Spanish Grand Prix onwards.

The team will return to Renault power for 2017 after using year-old Ferrari engines last year, hindering the team’s progression and development towards the end of the season.

Toro Rosso confirmed on Friday that its chassis for the 2017 season, the STR12, has passed the mandatory crash test.

The new car is poised to break cover in the week leading up to the start of pre-season testing, which is due to commence in Barcelona, Spain on February 27.

Red Bull would not let Carlos Sainz Jr. join Mercedes F1

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 25:  Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Toro Rosso and Spain during practice for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 25, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
© Getty Images
1 Comment

Red Bull Formula 1 chief Christian Horner has rubbished the idea of letting Carlos Sainz Jr. join rivals Mercedes as the search continues for Nico Rosberg’s replacement.

Sainz was named as a possible candidate for the vacant seat at Mercedes following Rosberg’s shock announcement, with the Spaniard currently racing for Red Bull’s junior team, Toro Rosso.

Sainz remains under contract with Toro Rosso for the 2017 season, but with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo locked in at the senior team for the foreseeable future, it looks unlikely that he will be able to move any higher within the Red Bull setup.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Horner said that Red Bull would not consider letting Sainz go, believing him to be too valuable to its current operation.

“Why would we do that?” Horner said when asked if Red Bull would consider letting Sainz go.

“Carlos has done a great job. He is a Red Bull driver. We have invested in him to get him into F1 and they are all on long-term contracts.

“So it wouldn’t make any sense to feed one of your main opponents with one of your assets.”

Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein and Williams driver Valtteri Bottas are currently leading the race for Rosberg’s seat despite neither having won a grand prix.

However, Horner believes that the true quality of the drivers would only become clear once given a top seat, with the likes of Ricciardo and former Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel flourishing after spending time towards the back of the field in the early part of their F1 careers.

“You give these guys a chance. Let’s see what people can do in a front-running car,” Horner said.

“If they did take Wehrlein or Bottas, both are probably both capable of running right at the front.

“You just don’t know until you give them the chance, which is what we did with Sebastian Vettel, and Daniel Ricciardo.”

F1 2016 Driver Review: Carlos Sainz Jr.

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 17: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving the (55) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 Ferrari 060/5 turbo on track during practice for the European Formula One Grand Prix at Baku City Circuit on June 17, 2016 in Baku, Azerbaijan.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
© Getty Images
1 Comment

Carlos Sainz Jr.

Team: Scuderia Toro Rosso
Car No.: 55
Races: 21
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: 6th (Spain, USA, Brazil)
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 46
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 12th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

I’m still not convinced there is that much difference in ability between Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. While Verstappen has lived up to the hype he is surrounded by, Sainz has quietly got on with the job at hand, leading Toro Rosso to a respectable seventh in the constructors’ championship.

The thing to remember in all of this is that Toro Rosso raced through 2016 with a 2015-spec Ferrari power unit. As the rest of the field developed, Toro Rosso stood still – and yet Sainz was able to claim some big results. His charge to sixth on home soil in Spain was impressive, but the stand-out performances came in Austin and Brazil, once again finishing both times around.

Brazil saw Sainz come close to a breakthrough podium, running fourth for much of the race before losing out late on to – you guessed it – Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel. Another podium shout came in Monaco, when two slow pit stops cost Sainz track position and left him a disappointing P8 at the line.

All in all, another hugely impressive year for Sainz that will have undoubtedly caught the eye of some of F1’s biggest teams ahead of a possible move up the grid for 2018.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

There must be something about tenacious Spanish drivers outperforming the machinery at their disposal. Carlos Sainz Jr. may be the son of the rally legend, but in F1 terms, he’s the next generation Fernando Alonso – and that’s arguably some of the highest praise that can be bestowed on a driver. 

Sainz got his just rewards and recognition this year for his efforts, dragging the Toro Rosso with a year-old Ferrari engine nearly to a top-10 finish in the championship. With 46 points, he was only three off of Max Verstappen’s total last year in the team, and that was with a same year Renault power unit.

Rather than act as though he was overlooked for the Red Bull senior team seat – and he was – Sainz instead put his head down and kept going through thick-and-thin, showing both pace and race craft far beyond his 22 years. Arguably, he’s a more complete driver than Verstappen at the moment, even if Verstappen has more highlight-reel clips at his disposal. Along with Alonso at McLaren and Robert Kubica at Renault a few years ago, Sainz’s campaign was one of the best midfield runs in recent F1 history.

Carlos Sainz Jr. ‘super happy’ with sixth in Brazil

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 13:  Carlos Sainz of Spain driving the (55) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 Ferrari 060/5 turbo on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 13, 2016 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
© Getty Images
Leave a comment

Carlos Sainz Jr. hailed his charge to sixth place in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix as “incredible” despite missing out on his best Formula 1 finish in the closing laps of the race.

Sainz bounced back from qualifying 15th to rise up the field with a bold strategy call, sticking with the wet compound tires throughout amid treacherous conditions at Interlagos.

The Spaniard found himself running fourth in the closing stages, only for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to battle past in the dying moments of the race.

Despite ending up sixth, Sainz was delighted with the result as he matched his best finish in F1.

“The rain definitely helped. All the teams except Mercedes did a rain dance,” Sainz told NBCSN after the race.

“I’m super happy with this P6. We were in front of Red Bull despite being 2.5 seconds slower. We brought it home in P6 which was incredible.”

The race in Brazil was red flagged twice and featured a number of safety car periods due to heavy rain and on-track incidents, leading to questions from the drivers about the decisions taken by race control.

Sainz said he understood the complaints, but that the calls made by the officials were right.

“[It’s] much harder than people expect,” Sainz said when asked about racing in wet conditions.

“I see complaints, why don’t people race. When you see an accident like Kimi [Raikkonen’s], red car in front of 300km/h, 10 meters in front of me – it’s not easy to keep it straight.”