Toro Rosso rookies head into the unknown in Shanghai

by Paul Hensby

On the back of a double points finish in Malaysia, the Scuderia Toro Rosso team arrive in China looking for more of the same, with both Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen set to run on the Shanghai circuit for the first time this weekend.

Sainz has scored points in both races of the season so far, finishing eighth in Malaysia last time out, but admits to having no experience of the Shanghai circuit, except for what his engineers have told him. He is looking forward to the new experience however.

“China is a circuit that I don’t know at all, in a country that I don’t know very well, so I am looking forward to enjoying a new experience,” said Sainz. “It’s a very special and unusual circuit according to what the team engineers tell me.

“Normally, with the Pirelli tyres, the rear end of the car is the most difficult to deal with, but in Shanghai it’s the front axle that requires the most careful attention as you can have some front graining. That means it could be similar to conditions we encountered during winter testing.

“The track looks challenging, with really long corners taken at high speed, which is something I am looking forward to.”

Team-mate Verstappen became the youngest driver in Formula 1 history to score points in Malaysia when he finished seventh, and feels the Shanghai track looks ‘pretty cool’. Like Sainz he is looking forward to his first weekend racing at the circuit.

“I’ve been to China a few times already, although I have never been to Shanghai or the circuit there,” said Verstappen. “The track looks nice, especially the long right-hander first corner, it seems pretty cool.

“It’s always exciting to go to a new circuit, so I’m really looking forward to the weekend and meeting some new Chinese fans.”

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