Renault Sport Formula 1 Team driver Carlos Sainz Jr. is looking for a points finish in the final race of the season, having shown strong form with his new car so far.
Sainz Jr. moved to the Renault team for the US Grand Prix, ditching his former team Scuderia Toro Rosso after the Japanese Grand Prix. Whilst some drivers would take time to get up to speed, he immediately found form with the team – out-qualifying teammate Nico Hülkenberg in his first race (something former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer was unable to do) – and taking a seventh place finish.
Although he’s been unable to repeat that performance in subsequent races, he’s hoping to finish in the points again in the final race of the season.
“Of course, I want to qualify and finish in the top ten. We’ve definitely had strong positives from every Grand Prix so far and I want to continue that to finish the year with a smile on my face.”
Due to the temperature in the country, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has to be held at 5pm local time. This means that the race starts in the day and ends in the night, giving drivers an extra aspect to consider. The changing light conditions can polarise some driver opinions and, whilst some might be against it, Sainz Jr. is a fan.
“I enjoy that this race is at night, I’ve done well under the lights this year so it would be nice to repeat that form. The atmosphere is always good in Abu Dhabi as it’s the last race of the year which makes it quite a special event. The facilities are incredible there and it’s pretty cool to start the race in sunlight and finish at night time, I like that!
“I left Brazil with a positive mindset as I’m starting to feel at home in the car and we head to Abu Dhabi with confidence and an aim for points. It’s going to be a tight fight in the championship for sixth, but we are ready for the challenge.
“There’s been a lot to learn but I think we’ve been able to face the challenge in a positive manner. It’s been an education for me to come to a manufacturer team, and there’s been a lot to do because of joining mid-season. I’m still on a steep learning curve with the car so I hope for another step forward in Abu Dhabi.”