Carlos Sainz Jr arrives in Jerez this weekend for the season finale of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series on the verge of winning the 2014 Drivers’ Championship, insisting he will not be changing the way he approaches the weekend.
The DAMS driver has been the one to beat all season, and sits 44 points clear of fellow Spaniard Roberto Merhi with only 50 points on offer in Spain, and it requires Merhi to have a perfect weekend and Sainz to have a nightmare for the Zeta Corse driver to take the crown instead.
Sainz has set a new record of race wins in a season with seven, including victories at Monza, Aragon, Spa-Francorchamps (two), Nurburgring and Paul Ricard (two).
“Finally the last race of the year and leading the championship coming to race in my home country, it couldn’t be better for me really,” said Sainz Jr. “It is great to race at home and I have been looking forward to this moment since the end of last year when we made all the plans with Red Bull and Dams to compete for the Renault 3.5 Championship.”
Despite having the title virtually in his hands, Sainz insists that he will not change the way he goes about his weekend in Spain, and insists he will be going for his eighth win of the season.
“We are not really going to change the way we approach the weekend, we are aiming to win,” said Sainz Jr. “If you aim to win then it is easier to be sure of making it to the podium but we are not going to get obsessed with victory and put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. A pair of podiums would be a great way to wrap up the championship.”
Sainz believes the Jerez track should suit him and his DAMS team, and is looking to complete the season by finishing on the podium. Aside from his seven wins, he has not finished on the podium; fourth place finishes at Aragon, Monaco and the Hungaroring have been his best other results.
“The track should be OK for us, a mixture of slow and fast corners,” said Sainz Jr. “We think that we are going there with a good set up but it might not be and like Paul Ricard we will have to respond quickly as the guys did in France.
“We are going to have to find the right balance quickly and qualify in the top three, that is what we would be comfortable with and there is certainly no reason why we can’t do that.”