Sainz Jr. boosted by productive day for Toro Rosso

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F1 rookie Carlos Sainz Jr. feels that his confidence has been boosted after enjoying a productive final run in winter testing today in Barcelona.

The Toro Rosso driver will make his F1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix on March 15, but has endured a mixed winter testing programme that has seen him lose track time on a number of occasions.

In Barcelona on Saturday, the Spaniard managed to complete 132 laps in spite of a late stoppage, and with a full race simulation now under his belt, he feels confident ahead of his first race in two weeks’ time.

“This was the sort of day we needed and it went really well,” Sainz said. “It means we can go to Melbourne with a boost to our confidence.

“This afternoon was particularly productive, after we had a couple of minor difficulties in the morning. The race simulation went well and overall we did a high mileage, which is obviously the most important thing.

“I’d like to thank the team for all their efforts during this pre-season period, as they helped me learn a lot every time I jumped in the car.

“Two weeks from tomorrow I will take part in my first grand prix. I am looking forward to it and I feel ready, especially after this test. Clearly, I’m very excited that it’s all about to start.”

Sainz’s teammate, Max Verstappen, will close out winter testing for Toro Rosso on Sunday in Barcelona.