Carlos Sainz switches attention to Japan after Malaysia retirement


Photo: Lars Baron/Getty Images

Carlos Sainz Jr has said that the Malaysia Grand Prix was a generally positive one for Scuderia Toro Rosso, but now the focus has switched to Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Sainz suffered an electrical issue that forced him into retirement on lap 29 of Sunday’s race, and despite neither car managing a points finish, the Spaniard was sure that the team had a pleasing weekend and are satisfied with the race pace in the STR12.

“It was a very positive day for us in general – apart from the retirement,” Sainz said.

“I think that we were doing a very good race and we showed a much better pace than yesterday during qualifying; when it comes to races we always seem to extract a bit more out of the car.”

Sainz had been heavily involved in the battle for the last points paying positions before his ailment – even tangling with Esteban Ocon at Turn 1 – and was encouraged by the feel and consistent pace of the car.

“We were good for points today but, unfortunately, in the end we had to retire due to an electrical issue.”

“It’s a real shame, as up until that point the car was responding very well to everything…”

Instead of dwelling on the misfortune, Sainz is putting all his attention towards Japan, as Toro Rosso look to regain the ground they have lost to Williams Martini Racing in the battle for fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship, the gap now standing at 13 points with five races remaining.

“The good news is that we have another race in only seven days, so we can quickly switch focus and start thinking about the Japanese GP straight away.”

Although having only scored a solitary point in Japan in his Formula 1 career thus far, the 23-year-old is insistent that he’s looking forward to tackling the challenge that Suzuka poses and savouring the unique Japanese atmosphere.

“I fly directly to Japan tonight, so I will get into ‘Japanese mode’ quickly and start enjoying what has become one of my favourite race weekends of the year!”