Carlos Sainz clinched eighth place in the British Grand Prix, a tough race that was affected by a heavy downpour that fell just a few minutes before its start. The start procedure was changed and cars begun the race after the Safety-Car instead. On a track whose drying process took more than half of the race, the Spaniard managed to stay always within the Top 10 and went on to score more points to reinforce Toro Rosso's sixth position at the Constructors' Championship.
The wet start gave Carlos a greater chance to beat a Ferrari, even both of them at some stage. Nevertheless, Pascal Wehrlein's retirement in Lap 7 caused a Virtual Safety-Car period that didn't play in benefit of the Spaniard, as he had entered the pits to change to inters just a lap earlier. Those cars that chose to stay out could do their stop during the VSC period and lose less time, as was the case for Mexican Sergio Perez. Carlos' goal was to stay ahead of the two Force Indias, but managed to be in front of one of them, Nico Hülkenberg's.
His second pit-stop wasn't positive neither. It was on Lap 18, but he could have pitted a lap earlier and make the transition to the slick compounds, a set of Pirelli mediums he used until the end. Anyway, in such delicate conditions the Spaniard managed to overtake on track Kimi Raikkonen and held on to the sixth place until a small error in Turn 1, which was wet and affected by tailwind, caused him to spin in Lap 25 and lose two positions.
From then on, he tried to close the gap to Nico Hülkenberg, but his tyres didn't allow him to do so. He crossed the line on eighth place, a good result for him and his team. Today's performance was Carlos' seventh race in the points of the year, out of a total of ten. He now has 26 points in the Championship after equaling Toro Rosso's best result ever in Silverstone.
After jumping out of the Car, Carlos felt reasonably happy with today's result.
"It was an eventful race. I think we were very well during the first part of it. We were very quick on wet conditions, then we passed the Williams, we were close to Kimi... After the first stop we came out far way, I was unlucky with the Virtual Safety Car and maybe we stayed out for too long, so we lost quite a few places. But well, we were very quick on slicks, managed to get Kimi. After that I was too fast for the circumstances and made a mistake in Turn 1. I lost two places and then it was very tough, as the tyre was no longer perfect. I tried to get close to Nico, but he was controlling the distance, so we finished eighth. We’ve been showing speed and consistency in the last few races and that’s my goal for this year, we can be happy”.
Consistency is the most important thing, although Carlos would have preferred to hold up the Force Indias. "My only disappointment is having the two Force Indias ahead of me, although we can feel happy for staying so close to them. They've had a better car than ours since Barcelona and more or less we're being close to them. Perez scored many points with two podiums, but Hülkenberg is having more normal races and we are pretty even on points. We are doing a very consistent year and we must carry on this way, it's what we aim for".
The final balance is positive. "The race was pretty decent both from my team and from my side. We had Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel behind, also the two Williams, we didn't even think about the McLarens, and the Force Indias we're very close. It was a couple of details that made them be in front of that: they had less tyre-wear and greater speed. Even without the spin it would have been very difficult to be in front of them".
Carlos talked about the next few rounds on the Championship: "Budapest and Singapore are probably our best shots. We expect to be stronger there. I don't know how much have others improved since Monaco, but we'll definitely try to be close".
Finally, some words from Scuderia Toro Rosso's Team Principal, Franz Tost:
"We experienced a very exciting race because of the changing weather conditions. At the start it was very difficult for the drivers to find the correct balance between being aggressive and not spinning off the track. This also happened when they changed to the slick tyres. It was tricky out there and in fact we saw many offs in Turn 1. I must say that both Carlos and Daniil did a very good job because they kept the car on track and finished the race within the points – in P8 and P10 respectively – without any major problems. This is a good result for us, the team also did well strategy wise and it’s positive that we can add another five points in the Constructors Championship. We now look forward to Budapest, a track that should suit our car well and where we should be fighting for good points".
Formula 1 will stay in Silverstone for a few more days, as on Tuesday and Wednesday there are tests. Carlos will be again at the wheel of the Toro Rosso. It will be necessary to wait until the following week for the next Grand Prix, the Hungarian one, which will be held for the 30th year in a row at the twisty Budapest circuit. We will follow it via www.carlosainz.es and our Twitter account @carlosainzinfo.
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