Knowing he had a twenty-place grid penalty coming into the session, Carlos Sainz Jr. used the qualifying session for the Japanese Grand Prix as an extended test session, which ended with the slowest time in the second segment.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver, who crashed during Friday morning’s free practice session, finished fifteenth fastest, thanks to using the same set of tyres in the second session that he did in the opening segment, with the decision made to save tyres in order to open up the strategy calls on Sunday.
Sainz, who will join the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team for the remainder of the season after this race, will form and all-Spanish back row with Fernando Alonso on Sunday, and he hopes to be able to progress forward and perhaps fight for points.
“The results on the timesheet look worse than what it really is, because in Q2 we decided not to run any new tyres – we only went out on the ones used in Q1,” said Sainz.
“The reason for this is that we want to have all the strategic options available to us for tomorrow as we’ll be starting from the very back of the grid due to the grid penalty.
“So today’s Q2 was a bit weird – we used it just to do some practice starts and ran on the used tyres… Not what we’re used to doing! Therefore, it’s a qualifying I didn’t really enjoy, but it was a sacrifice thinking about tomorrow, when I’ll appreciate it more than now.
“Hopefully we can have a good race and perform another good comeback using the new tyres still available from today!”