Sainz’s slick tyre gamble pay-off was “massive adrenaline rush”

Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz admits his slick-tyred start gamble in the Chinese Grand Prix “might have blown a big result”, before his stunning drive to seventh.

Sainz’s slick tyre gamble pay-off was “massive adrenaline rush”
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, spins twice at the start
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, spins at the start
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, spins at the start
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, spins at the start, ahead of Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12

Having started on supersofts, Sainz made a terrible getaway and slipped to last place off the starting grid before running wide at Turn 1 and later spinning under the safety car at Turn 2.

But as the rest of the field switched their intermediates for slicks, Sainz was able to regain his track position and showed great pace after the safety car.

“You must’ve seen the faces of my engineers, they looked at me like I was a bit crazy!” exclaimed Sainz of his decision. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw everyone else was on the intermediates.

“The risk paid off. You tell yourself it has to be the right decision, and suddenly when everyone pitted for [dry tyres] and knowing how wet it was in the first four corners and dry from then on, then I said ‘OK, now I’m the clever one now and not so stupid anymore!’

“It paid off, and sometimes when you’re in the midfield it’s worth taking these risks.”

"Super excited" over pace

Sainz said his pace after the safety car period was “incredible” as he was the fastest driver on track until his rivals ahead got their tyres up to temperature. 

“It’s not only the gamble we took, it’s also the pace in damp conditions," he said. "After the safety car I saw myself catching Ferraris, Red Bulls and Mercedes in front in the damp conditions – and I got super excited.

“Yesterday they were 2s faster than me, and today I’m catching them. It was incredible and I felt super-comfortable with the car. You cannot imagine how happy the team is.

“When you take this tough decision, there’s a lot of waiting before the start, thinking you might have blown a big result for the team. Suddenly, when it pays off, that adrenaline rush is massive!

“When you look at where the other midfield guys are, 35s back, it shows the enormous pace we had today and the brave risk we took.”

shares
comments
Mercedes: Bottas needs to "analyse and forget" China mistake
Previous article

Mercedes: Bottas needs to "analyse and forget" China mistake

Next article

Vettel's victory bid foiled by "unfortunate" SC timing

Vettel's victory bid foiled by "unfortunate" SC timing
Load comments
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022