Carlos Sainz reckons he achieved the maximum in Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix, and that it would have been “impossible” to do better than ninth, even if he hadn't crashed at the Wall of Champions in Q2.
Sainz qualified in 16th, initially moving up to 15th after team-mate, Daniil Kvyat served his three-place drop. However, he then picked up his own penalty as Toro Rosso had to replace his gearbox following his off in qualifying, leaving him down in 20th.
Despite starting well down, though, the Spaniard climbed back through the pack to score points for the third race in a row – and the fifth time this year, pointing out that a good first stop on lap 13 was key.
“If you had told me before the race that I would have finished in P9 after starting P20, I would've probably signed immediately! I'm really happy to have made it back into the points, I enjoyed it a lot out there,” Sainz said.
“We chose the right moment for our first pit-stop, going for the undercut, and I then did five or six qualifying laps on the soft tyre, which allowed me to overtake five or six cars and keep up with the Force India.
“Even if I hadn't made the mistake in qualifying, more than a P8 this weekend was impossible, so we can be happy and satisfied with our weekend.
"A result like this shows that we are strong and that we are constantly improving. We did the right strategy and good pit-stops, so I'd like to congratulate the whole team for this weekend, it's been great!”
Meanwhile, Toro Ross team boss Franz Tost lauded Sainz's drive and he also said Kvyat did okay en-route
“If we take into consideration where we started, to finish the race within the points is a great result. The team and the drivers did a really good job. Carlos drove a fantastic race,” Tost added.
“He overtook a few of his rivals during the first lap and thanks to a very good strategy and fast pit-stops, he was able to gain a total of 11 positions, scoring two valuable points for the team.
"On the other hand, Daniil suffered a little bit on the Ultrasoft in the last stint, but taking into account that this is a fast circuit that doesn't suit our car that well, we showed quite a good performance in general. The car was fast, the tyres worked well and we are now looking forward to the new track in Azerbaijan.”