Carlos Sainz Jr. says that driving in the Rallye Monte-Carlo earlier this year helped him to prepare for the 2018 Formula 1 season – his first with the Renault Sport Formula One Team.
The young Spaniard drove a course car (a Renault Megane R.S.) on the Col de Turini and Col de Braus stages of the World Rally Championship’s opening race, covering a mixture of surfaces including snow and ice. This, he says, along with pre-season testing and other training, has helped him to prepare for the first race of the year.
“I’m ready and if there’s a race you’re ready for, it’s Australia.
“You’ve been thinking and preparing for it for months, so it’s a race which brings high levels of motivation. I’ve done my best to pass the time through the off-season, I’ve done a lot of training, driven at Rallye Monte-Carlo and enjoyed testing in Barcelona. But now the time has come to get down to it and we have to refocus the body and the mind to getting the best results in 2018.”
Though it will be his first race in Melbourne with the Renault team – he was loaned to the French outfit for the last four races of the 2017 season by Red Bull, replacing the terminally-luckless Jolyon Palmer – this will be his fourth appearance in the Australian Grand Prix, having found the points in all three of his previous appearances.