Scuderia Toro Rosso‘s Carlos Sainz Jr. is a happy man due to back-to-back European races, giving him chance to have some downtime after two flyaway Grand Prix.
“I don’t mind having back-to-back races when in Europe,” said Sainz Jr. “because you still get to go back home for a few days in between races and get some training done, as well as seeing friends and family. When it’s overseas, you always stay out or go directly to the next race, which means being away from home for two weeks.”
Heading to Austria is a special event for the Toro Rosso team as it is home to the parent company Red Bull, although it does bring extra duties along with it.
“Racing at the Red Bull Ring, Red Bull’s home, changes my race weekend a bit because we have a few more events and things to do with Red Bull – a few more interviews, meeting guests, etc. but I don’t mind it, it’s good to race there!”
The young Spaniard believes that the Red Bull Ring will provide the highest level of grip on the calendar due to the recent resurfacing.
“I think it’s quite a particular track and I’d say it’s one with the highest grip of the year. The new tarmac used for the first time last year gave us a lot of lap time and it’s so smooth, it’s like driving in the simulator. The views are also pretty amazing and it’s a really cool venue to go racing.”
Last season the F1 field tested in Austria during this season, this year it moves to Hungary.
“The fact of not testing in Austria this year doesn’t change much. In the end, it doesn’t really matter where you go testing, the important thing is that the car runs and that the team is able to go through the test programme.
“I enjoyed testing in Austria last year, but doing it in Hungary this time will also be interesting. Barcelona is the track where we do the most testing, so I appreciate that there are also other tracks where we do it.”
As the focus moves to the race weekend it wouldn’t be a surprise if you saw Sainz Jr. performing a rain dance. “When racing in Austria last year, I was expecting the rain but it never came! Let’s see what happens this year – I always enjoy a wet race!” he added.