Carlos Sainz Jr was delighted to qualify inside the top ten for the Mexican Grand Prix, and admitted he was not expecting to make it this far up the grid.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver will start the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez from tenth on the grid, but felt the achievement of getting through to the top ten shootout was massive for the Italian team.
“I’m very pleased!” admitted Sainz. “It’s being a tricky weekend because of the challenging track conditions.
“If I say the truth, at the start of Q1 I thought it was going to be difficult to get into Q3… And here we are, P10 again for the second consecutive time in one week! It’s a massive achievement for me and the team!”
Sainz admits that he has been feeling more comfortable and confident behind the wheel of his STR11 in recent races, and this has translated into better performances both in qualifying and the races.
“I’m feeling very confident in the car lately and I think this is part of the reason why we are achieving these positive results: I can push straight away, develop my weekend well and make it to these positions,” said Sainz.
“I’m going through a good moment and both the team and I can be extremely proud about this – what we’ve been achieving during these two couple of races is not easy! I’m very happy.”
Sainz is not expecting an easy afternoon on race day as he will be starting on the less-favoured Supersoft tyre, and expects some of the drivers starting behind to be fighting hard to get ahead of the Spaniard.
“Tomorrow it will be tough: We don’t have the tyre-strategy advantage and we will need the Supersoft tyre to work well during my first stint, as the guys behind will be pushing to get past me,” said Sainz. “We need to be cautious but we will for sure have some fun!”