Carlos Sainz Jr: “It’s incredible how tight the midfield is!”

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Despite missing out on the top ten shootout, Carlos Sainz Jr admits he is enjoying seeing the midfield runners being so close this season, with the Spaniard missing out on advancing by just 0.060 seconds.

The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver qualified eleventh for the Chinese Grand Prix, feeling the lap of 1:34.150s was a good one, and it means he will have the free choice of starting tyre, should the race at the Shanghai International Circuit be a dry one.

Even if it is wet, Sainz believes Toro Rosso has a good chassis to work with, and either way, they could be in contention for a second consecutive top ten finish on Sunday.

“It’s incredible how tight the midfield is!” expressed Sainz. “To see two or three drivers within a tenth means that nowadays qualifying is even more important and even the smallest detail can make the difference.

“I’m honestly really enjoying these fights and today’s has been quite an eventful qualifying session – every lap counts and I was trying to find half a tenth here, half a tenth there… It’s exciting!

“Unfortunately I didn’t make it into Q3 this afternoon, but I missed out for so little – it was quite a decent lap so I’m not worried about it. Tomorrow is the big day and we start from P11, which is the best possible result if you don’t get into Q3 as we can choose our tyre strategy… If it’s a dry race!

“If it’s wet, we know have a strong chassis and I always welcome the rain, so one way or another I think we have opportunities to fight for a good result tomorrow.”