Carlos Sainz Jr believes he has become a stronger driver due to running with inferior power units during his Formula 1 career to date.
Scuderia Toro Rosso ran with the underpowered Renault unit in his rookie campaign in 2015, and the year-old Ferrari unit this year, and Sainz believes his performances have improved because of the lack of power.
With a year-old Ferrari engine in 2016 that is now behind Mercedes, Renault, Honda and the latest spec Ferrari engine, Toro Rosso are expected to struggle across the remaining nine events, but Sainz knows the importance of making moves stick quickly on track to get better results.
“I have done two seasons now with the least top speed of the whole grid and I must say it has made me stronger,” said Sainz on Autosport. “[Compared to] the beginning of last year, I’m not the same driver at the races.
“I have learned how to manage many things in the race and I think my results lately prove it. I’m able to extract that tiny bit more that maybe I was not expecting to extract.
“This situation has made me a stronger driver and a more consistent driver in the races. You are allowed to do less mistakes and you have to make sure that when you do get the chance to overtake, you make it stick.
“It can be the one and only chance in the whole race to overtake a Renault, when you do your stop and they are on old tyres – even if you don’t have top speed, you have to make it work.
“It’s these kinds of situations that I’m sure are making me stronger and more experienced and helping me go forward.”