Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr. is looking forward to racing at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend, where he has a huge fan base that spur him on to perform at the highest level.
As a food lover, the Spaniard is in paradise in Italy, which makes it all the more difficult for him to concentrate solely on the racing. As a true competitor, he perseveres however, and loves nothing more than to soak up the atmosphere from the extremely passionate fans.
“The Italian GP weekend is a bit of a frustrating one, because you want to spend the whole weekend eating pizza and pasta but you can’t as we’re there to race!
“A part from this, I have to say it’s an amazing weekend and one of the things I enjoy the most is the Italian fans and their passion.
“I seem to have many supporters there – I even have an Italian fan club to whom I send my regards to from here! – and it’s great to feel so much support!”
Despite not achieving any great results at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in the past, it is still one of the Spaniards favourite tracks on the F1 calendar, and one he hopes to get the better of eventually.
“Monza is a circuit that I really like – I wouldn’t say it’s my absolute favourite, but it’s up there in my top 5… It’s the temple of speed after all!
“I haven’t been able to score a good result there yet during my F1 career, but I’m confident it will happen one day…sooner or later!”
The Italian fans are what make the weekend for Sainz Jr. as they line the way into the paddock every single morning of the weekend, chanting for their favourite drivers without fail.
“The entrance to the Paddock is special and different to other circuits, as it’s absolutely full of passionate fans who wait for the drivers to arrive each morning.
“This means that before entering the Paddock we stop to sign autographs for 5 or 10 minutes, which gives me a good boost to start the day!”
The Spaniard will celebrate his twenty-third birthday this race weekend, and he cannot think of a better way to spend it, than doing what he loves best – racing!
“The Italian GP weekend always coincides with my birthday – this time it will be on the Friday…
“It’s a good way to spend this special day, doing what I love to do and celebrating it with the team, which is like a second family as we spend so much time together!”