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Carlos Sainz's balance sheet: It clicked in Spain

Seasonal balance sheet by Carlos Sainz
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D he last race in Abu Dhabi was a Failure. Toro Rosso could hardly drive due to various punctures. Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat qualified in the back of the field and retired on Sunday with gearbox damage. Nevertheless, Sainz's balance sheet is positive. “I got 46 points home, a number that I thought was impossible before the season started. We can be proud of this season. ”

For Toro Rosso, the season is divided into two halves. At the beginning of the year, the Red Bull B-Team cars looked like a secret favorite. Despite the late switch to the 2015 Ferrari engines, the engineers led by James Key succeeded in creating an excellent chassis with the STR11. By the summer break, there were already 45 points in the account. After that, only 18 points were added.

From Hockenheim the engine became a handicap

Sainz sees the GP Germany as a turning point. “From then on we noticed that the engine was becoming a handicap.” All other engine manufacturers increased their performance. The old Ferrari V6 turbo stayed as it was. “In Baku and Montreal, two motorized tracks, I was able to keep up well. From Hockenheim onwards nothing worked. Suddenly the 8th place on the grid turned into 14th place on the power tracks, ”says Sainz. Nevertheless, he praises the Ferrari engine: 'It gave us the stability that we lacked on the engine side in 2015.'

The Spaniard is looking back with satisfaction on the difficult second half of the season. “I seldom got above 14th place on the starting grid and still scored 16 points. The sixth places in Austin and Sao Paulo were a real highlight for me. ”

Personally, it clicked for the 22-year-old Spaniard at the home race in Barcelona. “From then on I had a run. I drove at a high level, scored a lot of points and hardly made any mistakes. There were no more bad pit stops, hardly any technical problems. My whole perception has changed. Since then, I've felt like a different driver. ”

As good as Verstappen in Brazil

2016 was a second year of apprenticeship for Sainz. Just on a higher level. “When you fight with Force India, Williams and McLaren, you learn different things than in the back field. The biggest boost for me this year was the Canadian GP. I drove to the 'Wall of Champions' during training and was far behind at the start. I made it anywayTick ​​that off and move from 20th to 9th place in the race. That showed me that I can handle mistakes well and that I am mentally strong. ”

Of course, Sainz is most concerned about the Verstappen question. His ex-team-mate had a terrific career after being promoted to Red Bull. Sainz would have believed that: 'I was no worse than Max at Toro Rosso.'

The Spaniard refers to the Brazilian GP, ​​in which Verstappen was celebrated as someone who can walk over water: ' My Toro Rosso is 2 seconds slower than the Red Bull in the rain. Max finished third, me sixth. I stood up to Ferrari, Red Bull and Force India on old tires. My race was definitely no worse than Max's. “


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