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EXCLUSIVE: Carlos Sainz on how his Dad and Alonso inspired his rise

"My dad saw that I knew how to do the Scandinavian flick in the car before I turned the corner at three years old. “Who has taught him?...”
Crash.net
It's been a strong start to the season for you… do you feel you have maximised the Toro Rosso so far this year?

Carlos Sainz:
I'm obviously really happy with how these first races have gone. Particularly with the early points, particularly with Monaco especially, that was a big weekend for me. It hasn't been as easy as it looks, sometimes we've struggled to qualify in the top 12, even in the top 10 compared to last year - it's a lot tighter to get in there. We have to do a lot of races coming a bit from the back, but still we've managed to get the points. The team has improved a lot in pit stop strategy, so it's helping.

Crash.net
So it's been a culmination of a bigger team effort…

Carlos Sainz:
It's a bit of a different situation in the past where we were qualifying in Q3 then defending the position. This year we are qualifying a bit more backwards due to the lack of pace in qualifying, but we look to do a good job in races, we've had very good starts, I don't think I've lost a position yet at the start. Pushing a lot, risking a lot and eventually getting into the points.

Crash.net
What will be a successful result once we get to the last race in Abu Dhabi?

Carlos Sainz:
That we will be P5 in the constructors' championship at least, that's the target of Toro Rosso, it's been the target for the past three seasons, and from there we will see. Personally, getting in the points whenever I finish a race and keep this run of consistency that I'm having now.


Crash.net
Moving forward towards the future, what's an ideal situation for you in 2018 and onwards?

Carlos Sainz:
Ideally to fight for a world championship, I want to have the chance to show everyone that I'm able to fight for a world championship. Red Bull knows this, I've told them, they know it perfectly, and I think if I keep bringing home good results the opportunity will come, and hopefully it will come with Red Bull, this is my target and this is what I'm looking for.

Crash.net
Back when you were younger you were surrounded by motorsport, what was your first memory of racing?

Carlos Sainz:
Probably one of my first races was when I was three years old, even earlier than that the first battery car I was given when I was a kid. I was three-years-old, it was a very small battery car, and I was doing donuts in my home at three years old, that was the first memory.

Crash.net
A battery car that you can sit in?

Carlos Sainz:
Yes. My dad saw that I knew how to do the Scandinavian flick in the car before I turned the corner at three years old. “Who has taught him?” he says. At the time my Dad was away 300 days of the year, so he didn't teach me about it, so he was quite surprised when he saw I had a bit of talent.

Crash.net
So that's what sparked the progression into Karting?

Carlos Sainz:
Yeah, he had a kart indoor, I started playing around there and started doing what looked like fast lap times, and since I turned 10 I have been racing properly.

Crash.net
What made you choose open-wheeled racing rather than following in your Dad's footsteps into rallying?


Carlos Sainz:
Probably the inspiration of Fernando Alonso.It was 2004 and 2005 and I was following Formula 1, I got to meet Fernando in 2006 and from there I told my Dad I wanted to be like Fernando Alonso. I wanted to be a world champion one day and a Formula 1 driver, so it all started there around 2005/2006.

Crash.net
Who is the fastest Sainz?

Carlos Sainz:
On dirt, my Dad for sure. On ice, my dad, and all kinds of situations apart from a circuit, my dad. But on a circuit, me!

Crash.net
Have you ever had a race together in karts or anything like that?

Carlos Sainz:
Karts it's a bit tricky because of the weight difference, if it's a circuit made of dirt with a rally car I can actually get quite close to him because it's a circuit and I can learn it. But as soon as we go to open road with pace notes I have nothing.

Crash.net
Do you get out and go rallying much?

Carlos Sainz:
I do some rallying for sure, at home we have a rally car, but not with proper pace notes and all that, I'm not used to it, I cannot rely on someone telling me what the angle of the corner is.


Crash.net
What was the first 'treat yourself' present you bought for yourself once you became an established racer?

Carlos Sainz:
I haven't given myself something big, maybe a car? Not yet at least. Maybe a holiday trip at the end of last year, that's it really! A good holiday trip I'm not going to lie, one week trip away from home, and that's it.

Crash.net
How did you mix your school work when you were racing karts?

Carlos Sainz:
School was probably the toughest phase of my life I would say. I had to combine racing in go karts, racing with Formula 3 and GP3, combined with trying to finish school without losing a year at 18 years old. Getting my university access degree, I had to combine both and it was probably the toughest years of my life where I was actually getting very little sleep due to the amount of studying I had to do, and at the same time racing professionally in Formula 3 and GP3. I eventually got it without losing any years, and I don't think many drivers can say they finished school at the same time when they were doing full time racing, so I'm very proud of that and it's actually one of the things I thank my parents for because they were applying me to do it. All of the other drivers not going to school anymore and just focus on racing, and I managed to do both which I'm really proud of.

Crash.net
What were your best and worst subjects?

Carlos Sainz:
The best, I was actually good in literature, I don't know why because I don't like it! I was good. The worst, probably everything that required a lot of studying because I didn't have the time like philosophy, history, where you had to learn something and you don't have time to do that. I was just at the limit with every subject, maybe with writing and literature, you had to study a bit less and was more about expressing an opinion or something like that.

Crash.net
If you didn't get into karting as a kid, what do you think you would be doing now?

Carlos Sainz:
I would probably have been a sportsman of something else. I like tennis a lot since I was very young. I don't know, I would probably have gone to university, I would have probably studied business or something like that.

Crash.net
What do you like doing away from Formula 1 to wind down and get away from the sport?

Carlos Sainz:
I play a lot of golf now, the last year I've played a lot of golf because it helps me to forget about my phone and forget about everything for four hours, because you have to really focus to play decent. Also, I like being with friends in a bar, having a drink, burger or something, that's the best.


Crash.net
Who is your favourite driver to race against, who gives you the most satisfaction?

Carlos Sainz:
Probably Fernando, Lewis, all these guys because I know that they are the best in the world, and getting to drive next to them in 2015 was a dream come true. Now. It's not like that because you get used to it, but I remember my first races was a pretty good feeling.

Crash.net
What are your favourite circuits from any series to race on?

Carlos Sainz:
Silverstone, Macau and Spa.

Crash.net
Are there any you would like to see added to the calendar?

Carlos Sainz:
I heard Bathurst is really good, I wouldn't mind going there for sure!

Crash.net
What are your top three emojis?

Carlos Sainz:
The monkey with the eyes, the finger - for all my friends - and the cheeky smile one that's like a smirk.

Crash.net
What is the worst joke that you know?

Carlos Sainz:
It's a difficult one to tell in English. Maybe 'why is six afraid of seven… because seven eight nine!'



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
14.05.2017.
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 2, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 2, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, detail
23.06.2017 - Press conference, Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Managing Director
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 2, Robert Fernley (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Deputy Team Principal
23.06.2017 - Press conference, Robert Fernley (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Deputy Team Principal, Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director and Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Managing Director
23.06.2017 - Press conference, Jock Clear (GBR) Ferrari Engineering Director and Rob Smedley (GBR) Williams Head of Vehicle Performance
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 2, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 2, Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 2, Ross Brawn (GBR) Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 2, (L-R) Ross Brawn (GBR) Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports and Luca Colajanni (ITA), Formula One Senior Communications Officer
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 2, Grid Girls

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