After a disappointing retirement at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Spanish Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr is firmly looking ahead to one of the most popular races on the calendar – the Italian Grand Prix.
The Spaniard is excited about the prospects of Italy, stating that: “Monza is another home Grand Prix for me, as it’s the land of my Italian team, Toro Rosso. It’s a very special track and full of tifosi.”
Although it is difficult to say that any team other than Ferrari will be the fan favourite this week, Toro Rosso will also be popular. Sainz commented that: “As you go down into Turn 1 you can see, hear and smell them – they are all doing barbecues in this area of the track and are all so passionate!”
Being a favourite amongst drivers, Sainz is understandably excited about the prospect of getting to drive the Monza circuit again after his thirteenth place finish there last year in his rookie season. “Getting to the first chicane is one of the best feelings, arriving at nearly 350kph, surrounded by these incredible fans… It’s fantastic!” commented the Spaniard; “Obviously, it’s a very tough couple of corners, always tight during the first lap of the race and there are very frequently a few tangles there.
“You then reach another 330kph top speed section, before entering another chicane, Turns 4 and 5. Here it’s very important to jump over the kerbs.”
Sainz also commented on his favourite parts of the circuit, saying; “We then go into what is one of my favourite parts of this circuit, the two Lesmo’s. These corners have a lot of banking, so it allows you to carry a lot of speed into them. I have to say that lap by lap you go quicker each time through these corners just because of gaining more and more confidence. “
“Just before arriving to Turn 8 you reach another high speed of around 340kph, and this just shows that it’s a really fast track, it’s incredible.”
“Another of my favourite chicanes is Turns 8, 9 and 10, taken in fourth gear and much faster than what it could seem… It’s important to ride the kerbs here as well.”
However Sainz did seem disappointed that the original layout of the track had been changed, mentioning that: “After this there’s a very long and fast straight, before arriving to a Turn 11, a corner that has lost a lot of its beauty – the run off area used to be gravel and it was so much nicer back then! Now its tarmac and everyone can go fast through the Parabolica. It’s a shame that they decided to do this.”