Carlos Sainz Jr was delighted after seeing his Scuderia Toro Rosso team return to form as he qualified sixth for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday.
The Spaniard has come off the back of a trio of difficult races where the underpowered Ferrari engine struggled, but with the dependence on power less critical at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, Sainz was able to excel to put his car on the third row of the grid.
Despite his strong showing, Sainz found his qualifying compromised somewhat, especially in the second phase when he was called into the weighbridge, which prevented him from running a second time in the session, but luckily did not prevent him from making it through into Q3.
“A very positive day! I think we can be very pleased with this qualifying session,” said Sainz. “After a few tough races, it was time to get back to where I think we belong and to fight for the top six, half a second clear of the Force India, is something to be proud of.
“It wasn’t as easy as it looked like: I had to stop at the FIA scales in Q2, after that the engine didn’t start and I also missed the second run in Q2… So it was very difficult to get into a rhythm, but finally in Q3 I managed to do two consecutive laps on the Ultrasofts and the lap came when it counted.”
Sainz believes the team can also be strong during Sunday’s race under the lights in Singapore, and on the back of one of the best qualifying performances of his career, he is looking for a good points haul from the race.
“This is a huge boost for the team and we know that we have the pace for a good race tomorrow, so we can be confident!” said Sainz. “I’d say this is one of my best qualifying sessions of my career and I will be going to bed with a big smile on my face!”