Carlos Sainz Jr. heads into the ‘special occasion’ that is his home Grand Prix weekend buoyed by his first points finish of the season two weeks ago in Azerbaijan.
The McLaren F1 Team racer will attack his fifth Spanish Grand Prix this weekend eyeing his second top ten finish of 2019, with Sainz having secured points in each of his previous visits to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, during his time with both Scuderia Toro Rosso and the Renault F1 Team.
His best result at home came back in 2016 when he took his Toro Rosso to sixth position, but now as a fully-fledged McLaren driver, he arrives there relieved that he has six points on the board having started the year with three consecutive weekends without breaking into the top ten, although much of that was down to circumstances out of his control.
“I’m so excited for my home race,” said Sainz. “It’s always such a special occasion and I can’t wait to see all the fans in my grandstand, I’m looking forward to seeing it in full papaya!
“It was a relief to finally get points on the board in Baku. We knew that we had the pace to score those points, but bad luck and events out of my control had prevented it until then. Now the target is to add to that tally in front of my home crowd and throughout the upcoming European season.”
Sainz believes his previous Spanish Grand Prix outings have been in cars that have suited the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and he hopes this can continue once more into the 2019 event with McLaren.
“I think one of the main reasons for that is that this track has always suited the car I’ve been racing with,” said Sainz during the pre-race press conference. “I think I’ve struggled in the past with top speeds and long straights in the cars that I’ve been racing with and in Barcelona that deficit was always reduced.
“So, it meant my cars that I was racing here were a bit better. But also I think I’ve always been comfortable in this track. I’ve had some success also in lower categories. I like the track, I like the challenge, I like racing with the fans behind me.”