Toro Rosso rookies looking forward to first F1 night race

by Paul Hensby

The Scuderia Toro Rosso team arrive in Sakhir for the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend hopeful of getting back into the points following a point-less trip to China last weekend where Carlos Sainz Jr could only finish thirteenth while Max Verstappen retired while running inside the points.

Sainz saw his run of points scoring races end in China, and arrives at a track he has never experienced before this weekend in Bahrain. He has previous experience of racing at night when he competed in the GP3 Series back in 2013 in Abu Dhabi, and is hopeful of a good result this weekend.

“This track usually produces a good race and last year I remember it was one of the highlights of the season,” said Sainz. “Racing at night in a Formula 1 car will be an interesting challenge, something different, although I have competed in a GP3 night race in Abu Dhabi.

“The Sakhir track has got long straights that create quite a lot of overtaking opportunities. Then there’s a tight middle sector that also has some high speed corners, followed by a very challenging braking point at Turn 10 I think, where it’s very easy to lock up the front tyres.

“I’ve never been to Bahrain, so I don’t know what to expect from the country itself.”

Team-mate Verstappen was unfortunate to retire in China with a late mechanical issue, and is looking forward to his first experience of Sakhir in a racing car this weekend. He is also ready to experience his first evening race this weekend, and insists the track getting quicker as it cools down is a good thing.

“I have been to Bahrain and I’ve actually raced on the go-kart track next to the Formula 1 circuit,” said Verstappen. “But my only ‘real’ experience of where we will be racing this weekend consists of one lap on a bicycle!

“The race is run partly at night which I’m sure will be an interesting experience for me, but in fact it’s not exactly something new as I have raced go-karts at night before.

“What I like about night races is that the track gets cooler, which means it’s faster, and this is always good!”

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