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F1 Mexican GP: Sainz delighted with Q3, accepts strategic disadvantage

Carlos Sainz says he is happy to simply show pace good enough to reach Q3 even if it means he will be disadvantaged at the start of the Mexican GP
RESULTS: Mexican Grand Prix - Qualifying results

Carlos Sainz admits he was surprised to crack the top ten in qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix, even if he concedes it means he will likely spend the opening laps “looking in my mirrors”.

Like the rest of the field, Toro Rosso had been struggling to wrap their heads around the performance of the tyres and get a read on which compound works best, as a new set of tyres didn't necessarily mean a gain in performance.

“I would never have thought this track had Q3 potential and here we are beating a Force India. ['I'm] very pleased,” said Sainz.

“We had been struggling the whole qualifying, especially because we don't understand what the tyre is doing. We go out with the used tyre and do a 1m 20.2, we go out with the new we do a 1min 20.3s. It means we don't understand the peak performance of the super-soft and when you get it.”

BREAKING POINT: These F1 races really push drivers and cars to the limit

Though he may be satisfied with a strong qualifying performance, the Spaniard is wary of the team's race pace and expects a tough challenge to remain in the top ten.

However, while Sainz is happy to have out-qualified the likes of Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez, he understands that qualifying in 10th position leaves him at a disadvantage as his rivals will have a free choice of what tyre to start on.

“I feel great but probably he [Alonso] also feels great because tomorrow he has the advantage. The two Spaniards are happy. On paper, if they don't beat us, Alonso and Perez, then they need to think about something because of the straight line and strategy advantage, they have to beat us.

“I like challenges. I know I will suffer and I know I will be looking in my mirrors after five laps with the graining of the super soft and the soft coming quick, but hopefully we can hold onto it.”

by Josh Kruse



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Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
29.10.2016 - Qualifying, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
29.10.2016 - Qualifying, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
29.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
29.10.2016 - Qualifying, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
25.06.2017 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H leads Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
25.06.2017 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team VF-17 and Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010

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