Carlos Sainz Jr.: “There was a lot to learn so I’m happy”


Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Carlos Sainz Jr. completed his first day in the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team on Friday at the Circuit of the Americas, with the Spaniard using the day to get adjusted to the RS17 after his switch from Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Sainz finished tenth fastest in his very first session in mixed conditions, ahead of team-mate Nico Hülkenberg, and it was a similar story in the afternoon session, with the Spaniard denying the German by 0.005 seconds for eleventh position.

“It’s been a busy week with everything other than driving the car so it was fantastic to get out and drive for the team for the first time today!” said Sainz. “There was a lot to learn so I’m happy we ran through everything required.

“We made good progress, but we’ve got work to do as you’d expect. Tomorrow will certainly be interesting for my first qualifying session with Renault.”

Team-mate Hülkenberg lost a lot of time in the afternoon with an engine issue that saw him stuck in the pits for a significant amount of the session, but he was able to return to the track in the final twenty minutes to get a representative time on the Ultrasoft tyre on the board.

“It wasn’t an ideal Friday on my side of the garage, but it’s certainly not the end of the world,” said Hülkenberg. “We need to get the car into its sweet spot. We know what we need to improve on the car.

“After a moist start to the day, the track was developing all the time. Of course, it’s always great to drive the Circuit of the Americas, and I’m sure we have more in hand for tomorrow.”