Carlos Sainz Jr. heads to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez this weekend eyeing another points finish, with the Spaniard arriving at the Mexican venue on the back of a strong seventh place finish at the Circuit of the Americas.
Sainz was positive about the double points finish last weekend in the United States was a ‘massive result’ for Renault Sport Formula One Team, but it is important they keep their focus across the remaining three races if they are to maintain their fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.
“It’s a massive result for the team,” admitted Sainz. “We pushed very hard all weekend to score this result and the work has paid off.
“We definitely had better pace in Austin and hopefully we can carry this on through Mexico and the remaining races. We need to keep scoring points.
“We can’t stay comfortable as we know anything can happen between now and the end of the season, but this result definitely gives us a boost and we have to relish this and repeat the form in Mexico.”
The Renault driver has just three more races with the Enstone-based team before he makes the switch to the McLaren F1 Team for 2019, and he is excited to return to Mexico City this weekend as it is amongst his favourite locations on the whole Formula 1 calendar.
“The Mexican Grand Prix is a popular one amongst the drivers and it’s certainly a weekend I enjoy a lot,” said Sainz. “It’s a special atmosphere and we feel the passion and energy of the fans there.”
Sainz says he feels some additional support from the Spanish-speaking crowd in Mexico, and he feels the passion the fans show all weekend long shows just how much they love the sport, with home hero Sergio Pérez their primary focal point.
“Mexicans are clearly very passionate for Formula 1,” said the Spaniard. “You get a real sense of that through the weekend. They only have Checo to root for and as they are Spanish speaking, you could say Fernando and I are also quite well supported there, at least that’s how I feel.
“In terms of culture, I quite like the Day of the Dead theme as well and the locals go all out for that. It’s great to see the fans on the drivers’ parade and it’s a nice feeling saying ‘hola’ to over 200,000 people.”
Sainz feels the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is a tricky one to get a good set-up due to its extreme altitude level and blend of long straights, fast and slow corners, while he feels there is added pressure from the crowd in the stadium section at the end of the lap to get things right.
“In terms of the circuit, it’s a tricky one because the effective downforce is low, which makes the car feel lighter than usual,” said Sainz.
“There are a blend of long straights, some fast sweeping corners and also a couple of twisty turns to get right, especially in the final section in the stadium complex where there’s no room for error in front of a big crowd who are observing from all angles!”