Carlos Sainz offered today his best comeback ever since joining Formula 1 as he recovered 11 positions at the Canadian Grand Prix to finish the race within the point-zone, in a deserved ninth place. A solid performance after his touch against the wall in Qualifying and the penalty received after changing the gearbox of his Toro Rosso.
The Spaniard started the event from the 20th spot of the Starting Grid. He was free to choose whatever tyre compound he wanted to begin with, and he went for a set of the ultrasoft compound, just like the vast majority of his rivals. On the purple rubber, he overtook four cars in the first lap. Recovering was always going to be a challenge due to the lack of top speed of his Toro Rosso STR11 and on top of that he had to handle traffic as he was stuck behind a compact group of cars that were able to use the DRS just like him.
Carlos resisted 13 laps on that first set of Pirelli tyres, on which he moved up to the 14th position. Toro Rosso chose then to readjust his strategy and move forward the first pit-stop in order to try and undercut the chased group. By stopping earlier, he could push and gain time on the upcoming laps and then claim their spots as they entered the Pit-Lane.
Equipped with a brand new set of soft tyres, the hardest option available, Carlos picked his rhythm in the opening laps to make the most out of his rivals' pit-stops and later stabilized his pace to stay on track for 35 laps before returning to the pits. He was 11th, always chasing down Nico Hülkenberg's Force India, which had greater speed than his car.
The second and last pit-stop from the Spaniard came with 21 laps still remaining. Carlos went for a set of the ultrasofts and pushed a little bit more to finish ninth on the final standings. He was very close to the Force India at some stages of the race, but he chose to stay calm on ninth place and make it to the chequered flag as by trying to attack for position he risked damaging his tyres and struggling to defend his result. The Spaniard scores two valuable points thanks to his fast pace and also the correct strategic decisions made by the team in the Pit-Wall.
After stepping out of the STR11, Carlos was happy as he recalled his comeback. "It was truly impossible to do more than this. I don't say this sort of things very often, but today that would have been impossible. Had we started ninth or tenth yesterday, which I think is what we really deserved, we would still have finished eighth. With today's result we compensate yesterday's Qualifying and we finish the weekend on a high note".
He said yesterday through his social media channels that he would have to recover "a bit" in the race, but in the end it was much more than that. "It was more than just a bit, more than what we all expected. Race was trouble free; there were neither rain nor incidents, so we did it thanks to our great pace and the right strategy calls. I enjoyed it a lot. I attacked all race long without having to care about neither tyres nor fuel consumption, so I really enjoyed it".
There were some stages of the event when Carlos was able to attack at full speed, as he explained in his words. "I enjoyed it a lot, especially the laps after our early pit-stop for the undercut. I went out on the soft tyre and I did five Qualifying laps, it was super fun. We were trying to stay ahead of everyone and we did indeed. From then on I could pull away more relaxed. Thanks to the team for the great effort they did today".
Finally, he also spoke about next week's European Grand Prix. "Next week we have another Grand Prix, this time on Baku. I look forward to it because it's a new circuit and I like new tracks, I enjoy the adaptation process we live in Free Practice 1. It's fun. It's a new country for me, I look forward to it. Let's see how our car behaves".
The European Grand Prix will be held on the 17th, 18th and 19th of June at the brand new circuit of Baku, Azerbaijan, on GMT+4 time.
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