Franz Tost believes Carlos Sainz Jr’s drive in the United States Grand Prix was one of his strongest performances so far in his Formula 1 career, with the Spaniard picking up a career-best-equalling sixth place at the Circuit of the Americas.
The Team Principal of Scuderia Toro Rosso team felt Sainz’s performance was very impressive, with a great first lap putting him into a good position, and his late race defensive driving enabled him to clinch sixth, although he was unable to defend from fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso for fifth.
“Carlos started from P10 and was very clever in the first corner, defending against others very well – especially Alonso – and at the end of the first lap he was already P8,” said Tost.
“From then on he drove a very clean and competitive race as well as managing the tyres in a very impressive way. Towards the end of the race he was racing in P5 and was able to defend this position until the very last laps against Alonso.
“In the end the McLaren driver was able to get past him, but we can’t forget that we are much slower on the straights and therefore Carlos had no chance to defend himself. Today he also did a great job when Massa was attacking him, so Carlos really showed a solid performance: he deserves this P6, it’s one of his strongest races with the team.”
Tost was disappointed that Daniil Kvyat’s race was compromised early when he collided with Sergio Perez on the opening lap, which resulted in front wing damage and a ten second penalty in his pit stop.
The Russian finished outside the points in twelfth, although he was promoted to eleventh when Kevin Magnussen was handing a post-race penalty.
“Regarding Daniil, after the start he collided with Perez, resulting in his front-left wing endplate getting damaged,” said Kvyat. “He therefore lost downforce and, consequently, performance.
“He was also given a ten-second penalty for this, which compromised his race and was only able to finish P12.”
Tost was happy that Toro Rosso showed better pace than they were expected to at the Circuit of the Americas, especially as they continue to run with the 2015 Ferrari power unit.
“Generally speaking, the team did a very good job and the cars were more competitive than expected,” insisted Tost. “We are now looking forward to the race in Mexico in seven days’ time.”