Carlos Sainz Jr: “We were so close to the points!”

Carlos Sainz Jr - Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr had a frustrating race at this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix, finishing just out of the points in eleventh.  The Spaniard finished just behind Brit Jolyon Palmer, who scored his maiden points in Formula One.

“We were so close to the points!” said Sainz.  “It was quite an eventful race right from the start, which was what we needed.”

The start of the race turned out to be pivotal for many drivers in the race, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel crashing out at the first corner after colliding with Nico Rosberg. Whilst not becoming tangled with this incident, Sainz mentioned that he too had a tough start to his race and following the chaos of the first lap, the Spaniard had to keep his head down, and attempted a different strategy from the rest of the field.

“My start was also very stressful, as I was doing a clutch warming when I arrived to the grid and the engine suddenly stopped!” revealed Sainz.  “I managed to turn it back on and it was just as the lights went out… So my start wasn’t great because of this, but I then did a mega job at Turn 1 and overtook five or six cars!

“From then on we tried to follow the opposite strategy to many others – when the first Virtual Safety Car was deployed we decided to stay out, which was a bit risky, but meant we were fighting for the points positions! In the end, we did a good race and if we didn’t end up in the points it’s because we just didn’t have the pace, not because we didn’t try.”

Sainz, despite the disappointment of today’s race is feeling optimistic about the next race in Suzuka next weekend.

“We will of course keep working and I now look forward to Japan, a race that has become one of my favourites after enjoying it for the first time last year. I also can’t wait to meet all those amazing Japanese fans again, they definitely give you an extra boost!”