Carlos Sainz Jr will start from tenth on the grid in the Austrian Grand Prix, having only been able to set one time on used tyres in yesterday’s top ten shoot-out.
Sainz arrived at the Red Bull Ring amid a flurry of quotes and rumours about him leaving Scuderia Toro Rosso next year, and Red Bull, owners of both the Toro Rosso team and the Red Bull Ring track, were keen to quash these rumours.
Setting an initial time of 1:05.726 on used tyres, Sainz Jr knew he needed to improve to stand a chance of moving up the grid. Heading out on fresh tyres and looking to improve, his hopes were dashed by a spin from Romain Grosjean in sector two, which brought out the yellow flags. A subsequent spin from Max Verstappen ensured that he wouldn’t be able to improve his time, and will start tenth on the grid.
Despite not having been able to improve his time, Sainz Jr was in high hopes ahead of race day.
“A good qualifying! Before the weekend started, we knew this track was going to be quite tricky for us, but we found a really good set-up in FP3 that made me feel really confident with the car,” said Sainz. “As soon as the qualifying session started, we put in very competitive lap times and a P10 is a good place to start in tomorrow’s race.
“It’s just a shame about the yellow flags at the end of Q3 – I wasn’t able to set a time on new tyres; my Q3 lap time was done on used tyres and we’re only a tenth behind the Force Indias and Grosjean.
“Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to improve, but after a tricky start to the weekend I’m happy with today’s result and I look forward to tomorrow’s race: we have a good chance of scoring points and we need to make the most out of our chances!”