Carlos Sainz Jr says he's been given a confidence boost after seeing Max Verstappen excel in the updated Toro Rosso STR10 at Spa as he bids to end his barren run of four consecutive retirements.
The Spaniard, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Tuesday, has been a victim of misfortune since Austria with four straight DNFs all ultimately caused by electrical or power unit problems. Despite Sainz's recent frustrations he is determined to have a successful race weekend at his team's home round at Monza.
Sainz is expecting to have to take a 10-place grid penalty for a power unit change after his expired after 32 laps at Spa two weeks ago but has confidence in the Toro Rosso package after his team-mate battled to eighth place from 18th on the grid in Belgium.
“I just can't wait to get back in the car even if I have to change the engine,” Sainz said. “That spec seemed to work quite well for Verstappen in Spa. I'm positive even if I'll have to take a 10-place grid penalty. I really want to at least gain all those position back in the race as Verstappen did in Spa. If he can do it, I can do it.”
Sainz has a strong record at Monza after enjoying a near-perfect race weekend at the Italian circuit last year on his way to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series title. The Spaniard notched up two pole positions, a race win and fastest laps in both races at Monza in 2014 and says he loves the thrill of racing at the prestigious circuit.
“Monza is such a classic, old-school track, every driver loves to race there,” he said. “I enjoyed it so much there last year in Formula Renault 3.5 but to drive an F1 car there and reach one of the highest top-speed of the year, will be such an adrenaline rush.”