Carlos Sainz Jr finished eighth in the Australian Grand Prix but felt seventh could have been possible had he had a few more laps as he closed the gap to Sergio Perez ahead of him.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver had lost the position to the Mexican just after his pit stop, and although he had the pace to close down the gap he ran out of laps to be able to make a challenge, and was ultimately forced to settle for eighth, ahead of team-mate Daniil Kvyat.
“A tricky race! Obviously, with this new generation of cars, we didn’t know really what to expect, but to finish P8 is a decent result I’m happy with,” said Sainz. “It’s a shame that soon after the pit-stop we lost the position to Perez.
“I struggled after having to let Daniil and the two Mercedes by, as my tyre temperatures dropped down a bit and it took me some time to get back into rhythm.
“Towards the end of the race I was coming fast, catching the Force India, and I got quite close to overtaking him – if only there had been a few more laps, I could’ve given it a try.”
Sainz feels getting both cars into the top ten will be a confidence boost for the Faenza-based team, and it will hopefully bode well for future events after a far from straightforward pre-season testing programme.
“This race weekend was definitely a confidence boost for the whole team – to get both cars into Q3 yesterday and end with a double-points finish today is a really good start and now we need to make sure we keep on going like this,” said Sainz.