Carlos Sainz Jr said he was delighted with his performance on his first outing in F1 machinery after setting an impressive pace on his Thursday appearance with Toro Rosso.

The young Spaniard took over from Daniel Ricciardo during the afternoon as the Young Driver Test at Silverstone continued, and ultimately posted a best time less than a tenth of a second behind the team's regular driver.

The 18-year-old, who is competing in GP3 this season, is back on track today [Friday] with Red Bull, and he admitted that he had been blown away by the performance of the F1 machine.

"First of all, I want to thank Red Bull and especially Toro Rosso for this opportunity," he said. "When I got out of the car at the end, I went round to every mechanic and said 'thank you for being part of the happiest day of my life!' Driving the car was an incredible feeling and this track helped, because if there is one circuit where you are really going to feel you are in a Formula 1 car, it's Silverstone.

"As for my impressions of the car, everything about it was amazing, but if I had to pick on one aspect it would be the car's agility and the way it can change direction at 300 km/h. That's something I had never experienced before and it was the most impressive thing for me.

"To start like this with Toro Rosso, which was not part of my plan for the year, makes this the best day and tomorrow [Friday], to sit in a world champion's car thanks to Red Bull, who have supported me since I was fifteen, will I hope be just as good."


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