Carlos Sainz Jr. has a good track record at Albert Park, with two ninth places and an eighth in his three previous starts, but for 2018, he will be racing for the Renault Sport Formula One Team as opposed to Scuderia Toro Rosso.
The Spaniard made the switch to the Enstone-based team ahead of last seasons United States Grand Prix, but is now beginning his first full year with the outfit, and he is thrilled to start the year with the Australian Grand Prix around a circuit that offers no room for error, particularly with the wider cars that came into the sport ahead of last season.
“It’s one of my favourite tracks, not only for the layout, but also for the weekend itself,” said Sainz. “I have a positive record in Australia as I’ve finished ninth twice and eighth last year, so it’s one I have a bit of consistency at.”
“Last year it was the first race with the wider cars and it was exceptionally noticeable around Albert Park we had to change our trajectory into corners to not touch the walls especially as it’s quite a narrow circuit. There’s no room for error as it’s quite unforgiving in that regard!”
Sainz admits there is confidence of another strong result in Australia after a positive pre-season testing programme with the R.S.18, but there is some pressure on the team to have a good weekend with it being their third year back in Formula 1 as a works team.
“I’m feeling good and that confidence has been boosted by pre-season testing,” admitted the Spaniard. “We gained a lot of data, and from both a personal view and the team view, we know we have to begin the season in Australia on a bright note and all of our efforts will be going in to achieve just that.”