Carlos Sainz Jr believes by trying the different configurations on his STR12 for the opening day of practice of the Monaco Grand Prix, this has given him confidence with the car.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver had a promising start to this weekend, with him completing a fastest lap time of 1:14.333s to finish Free Practice 1 in ninth. From here, his confidence grew with the car, as he was able to turn around fastest laps that saw him second for some time in Free Practice 2. Sainz finished the session in an healthy fifth with a time of 1:13.400s.
Of course, anything can happen between Thursday and Saturday, so the Spanish understands he can’t get carried away too much with the results from Thursday.
“I think that we did what we needed to do on a Thursday in Monaco,” said Sainz. “Building the speed up little by little and trying different configurations to give myself confidence with the car.
“After today’s two practice sessions it’s safe to say that we’re quite happy with everything. Obviously, from Thursday to Saturday a lot of things could change so we can’t let ourselves get carried away with today’s result, but it’s definitely a good starting point! I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend!”
Team-mate Daniil Kvyat performed similar to Sainz at the Monte Carlo street circuit. For FP1, he finished with a fastest lap time of 1:14.111s, to finish ahead of the Scuderia Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen in sixth. Heading into FP2, he continued his competitive streak as he lead the session for some time but was unable to hold on until the end. He finished in fourth with a time of 1:13.331s, ahead of his team-mate.
The Russian understands that the team needs to maintain this strong performance and get the car ready for qualifying on Saturday.
“A productive Thursday,” said Kvyat. “We did many laps today and they were all of good quality.
“We now have a lot of useful data to analyse before Saturday. The good news is that I’m happy with the balance of the car and we already look quite competitive. We now need to maintain this and get the car ready for qualifying and the race.”