Qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix saw Scuderia Toro Rosso duo Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen qualify ninth and fifteenth respectively for Sunday’s race at Sakhir.
Sainz was one of the stars of qualifying, surprising many, including himself, to make it through into the final part of qualifying, and ultimately will start ninth on Sunday. He feels positive that he can convert his excellent qualifying performance into a third points finish of his rookie season.
“I feel very happy,” insisted Sainz. “Probably it was the less expected Q3 of the year, I even thought this was going to be the toughest and most difficult to achieve after what we had seen in FP3… But we did a mega turnaround and we went for it.
“Everything worked out and I’m very satisfied with the result. For tomorrow’s race, our race pace should be the same or even better than our qualifying pace, so it gives me quite a good feeling for tomorrow.
“We have a balanced car that’s good through the high-speed corners and gentle on the tyres, but if we get into battles it can become a bit tricky. We will have to find a compromise, but I’m really looking forward to my fourth race in Formula 1.”
Team-mate Verstappen had been confident to make it through to Q3 again before the session began, but was disappointed to be eliminated in Q2 and will start fifteenth on Sunday. He hopes to take advantage of the extra set of soft tyres he has to be able to make progress in the race.
“It wasn’t the best qualifying,” revealed Verstappen. “I suffered from a bit too much understeer on the car and that’s never great for a qualifying lap on new tyres, but hopefully this will help to save the rear tyres more in the race tomorrow.
“We’ll do our best to do a good start and make the most of the fact that we have one more set of Soft tyres available!”