Crash.net
Pre-season testing is over for you now, how are you feeling in the car and ahead of your first F1 race?

Carlos Sainz Jr
I'm feeling very good to be honest, especially after the day I had yesterday. The afternoon I had yesterday to be more specific. It was a good confidence boost to arrive in Melbourne in a decent position.

Crash.net
With Toro Rosso bringing the 'new' STR10 at the final test, how important were the first two tests for personally?

Carlos Sainz Jr
It was more to evaluate the power unit, reliability, the car reliability. For myself though it was a chance to get back into it, get to grips with an F1 car, the Pirelli tyres... As soon as we brought the new car to the TO3, we say, OK, now it's time to be honest and do some more performance.

Crash.net
Toro Rosso's mileage has been pretty good over the winter, but it's had it fair share of stops too. Does that give you cause for optimism or concern?

Carlos Sainz Jr
It's a bit weird to evaluate because we're doing a lot of laps. I think we are one of the teams that are doing more laps per day which means reliability is good, but on the other hand, were having very small problems during the day that maybe slows down the programme. At the end, this is positive because you want to have all these problems in the testing. You want to have all the small issues in the testing, so they won't be there in Melbourne. I feel they have done a good job in this area because the lap times show it.

Crash.net
With Renault having concentrating its efforts on just Toro Rosso and Red Bull in 2015, do you feel the team will benefit from greater focus or would more teams - thus more mileage - be beneficial?

Carlos Sainz Jr
Having two teams with the same engine and being used to being really close to each other which is the case with Red Bull and Toro Rosso, I think we can do a big step forward if we work together and there's a good relationship between the teams. I think it would be good for Red Bull and good for Toro Rosso and I really hope this keeps going and helping each other because it will put us both in a good position.

Crash.net
As one of two rookies in the team, how much have you been working with Max Verstappen to bring the team up to speed?

Carlos Sainz Jr
We have worked, everyone in the team, every single one very hard and together. The night shifts and day shifts of the mechanics, engineers... Drivers maximise - we work together to try to extract the most out of package so we arrive in Melbourne in a good position. Once we're in Melbourne, everyone will just try to beat each other, but that's how racing works.

Crash.net
Where would you say Toro Rosso stands heading into the opening round?

Carlos Sainz Jr
It's very tricky. I think our package feels really nice to drive. It's good on tyres [on long runs]. That's why I really hope we can be ahead of Sauber and Lotus, this is obviously the main target. Of course, we don't know where Force India and McLaren are because they are not doing so much here. It's kind of unknown for us. I think to be in the points in the first race would be obviously tough, but that goal would be our good prize and a good feeling.

Crash.net
Drivers will always say they want more time in the car, but do you feel as prepared as you can be?

Carlos Sainz Jr
I think after my last day, I am fully prepared for Melbourne with a good confidence boost from. I just cannot wait! I want to get there and get the car out in Melbourne and see if the car feels as good as it does in Barcelona.

Crash.net
What are you expecting emotions to be like when you line-up for the first time on the grid?

Carlos Sainz Jr
It will be high. It will be different to any other thing. Probably when you are so concentrated, you probably won't realise that you've just started a Formula 1 race. But I'm sure the night before and on Saturday I'll be thinking about it.

Crash.net
Are you a driver that gets nervous before something like this or are you fairly relaxed?

Carlos Sainz Jr
Everyone on the grid gets nervous before a Formula 1 race. It's just how you manage it. It's impossible not to be a bit nervous before a Formula 1 start or even before a World Series start. You have nerves. The thing is, you know how to control them. My previous experience from last year when I was under big stress or big pressure to win a race in World Series, I performed, so it's not a worry.

Crash.net
You have previously spoken of your admiration and the influence of Fernando Alonso - what will it be like to share a grid with him?

Carlos Sainz Jr
This is why, for me, it's really important to have Fernando in Australia. You know my view has always been to fight against my heroes. Now I have the opportunity to fight against people like Hamilton, Vettel, but Fernando has always been my reference, my hero and having him next to me in Australia would be amazing. That's why I wish him a quick recovery and I really hope he will be there.

Crash.net
What's your relationship like with Fernando? Has he given you any advice ahead of your debut

Carlos Sainz Jr
We get on very well together. He's always helped me a lot in my career. It would have been more difficult for me to get to Formula 1 - he has always had positive comments and positive attitude towards me in the press to everyone that he knows. And for me, that a double world champion and my hero can say that about me is very important and gave me a push.

Crash.net
Have you enjoyed spending the pre-season tests in Spain - you're swamped every time you step out!

Carlos Sainz Jr
I've enjoyed it a lot, especially the first day in Jerez. It was huge for me to see that there were a lot of people in that test. It's been a bit tough with lots of interviews, because there's usually a lot of Spanish media who is coming and asking for a lot of interviews, so a lot of busy days when I was not in the car. But at the end of the day, I just get used to it, getting on with it.

Crash.net
Like a few drivers on the grid, your name is very well established in motorsport, but unlike Max or Nico, your father made his success in the World Rally Championship. Were you never tempted to follow that path?

Carlos Sainz Jr
I do try rallying. I do like rallying a lot. We have a rally car there in the countryside in Madrid. And everytime I'm there, I just jump in and have some fun. I really like rallying

Crash.net
How much has your Dad influenced you up to F1 and ahead of your debut?

Carlos Sainz Jr
My Dad has given me a lot of advice, but this advice comes especially from the attitude point of view. He's never told me how to drive a car, how to do a corner, nothing like that. He believe this comes from the talent. You are born with it or you are not born with it. He believes I have the talent and from there, he told me "I fully believe in your talent. I've seen what you're capable of doing. Now I'm going to tell you the attitude that you need to have to explore this talent and become a world champion. Follow my advice because I'm a world champion and I know what it takes." This has been his main focus on obviously my main focus.

Crash.net
You won the Formula Renault 3.5 title exactly 24 years to the day that your father won his first World Rally Championship title. Does you realise this at the time... has it made you a little superstitious?
Carlos Sainz Jr
I didn't have an idea until they told me just before the race. If you win the Championship today, this coincidence will happen. It was a bit of a shock. I'm not superstitious, I'm obviously bringing a lot of things from my 3.5 campaign which worked and I'm going to repeat them, but it's not superstitious. It's work ethic and being methodic. You maybe have small superstitions, like maybe stepping into the car from the right side or something like that, but nothing huge.

Crash.net
Have you looked at the date of your Dad's first WRC win and seen if it matches up with any race dates this year?

Carlos Sainz Jr
[laughs] I'm going to take a little look!

Crash.net
There has been plenty of focus on your team-mate Max about his age, but you're also going to be a young starter in 2015. You have had more racing experience though, so with that in mind, how important were those years in F3, GP3 and FR3.5 for you to develop as a driver and do you feel it gives you an edge over your team-mate

Carlos Sainz Jr
I think I can benefit. Especially those years in F3 and GP3 that were tough for me, coming to realise some things and becoming a much stronger driver. That's why I won the 3.5 in 2014. But I also believe that Max is fully ready for this year. He did a really nice preparation last year with Toro Rosso, which I didn't have and gave him a bit of an advantage in getting to grips with the Toro Rosso car. In the end, one thing compensates the other and we are starting both from scratch at Melbourne.

Crash.net
How crucial was it for you to clinch the FR3.5 title last year?

Carlos Sainz Jr
I saw it as simply, I wouldn't have gone into F1 without putting all my things together. The FR3.5 year was to confirm myself as a complete driver, such as being able to fight back in tricky situations, being able to be consistent in the whole year, do all of the pole positions and the race wins. Helping to consolidate myself and arrive to Formula 1 with more confidence, with a clearer picture about how I work and how I feel.

Crash.net
How important is that improvement in consistency for you coming into F1, particularly in a car that is unlikely to be challenging for wins?

Carlos Sainz Jr
The key from my side will be just to be as consistent as possible and make less rookie mistakes. There will be rookie mistakes and necessary ones to understand. For me, I will have to accept rookie mistakes, but you just have to do as few as possible. I think we have a strong package I think we have a strong rate of development for the year and a plan. If I manage to put the rookie mistakes apart, just possible and all this planning that we've done comes together, we'll do a strong season together.

Crash.net
Do you think you would be here now if you had finished second, third or fourth, rather than win the title?

Carlos Sainz Jr
If I wanted to have just a small chance of getting in to F1, the only small chance by getting it was by winning a championship. Coming second was absolutely not an option and I knew that since I came into 3.5 it's quite tough to realise that you can only win, and it was tough moments. It was tough, but in the end I became strong. Coming second, I can say that I wouldn't be here in Barcelona testing.

Crash.net
Max was announced fairly early on and it was something of a surprise deal when all signs suggested you would be next in line for an F1 seat. How disappointed were you to be overlooked initially?

Carlos Sainz Jr
To be honest, it was a big disappointment. I was doing things perfectly. After doing things really well, I had a perfect beginning of the season. When they announced Max, you don't feel good. You feel a bit down and you feel like your opportunity has gone. I kept the faith though and I picked myself up. More than ever, I just tried to continue demonstrating to Red Bull that I still deserve that seat and it was a help for me to just do another step forward in my work, my motivation to get that seat and in the end by luck or coincidence, Daniil could upgrade to Red Bull and I sit up here. Whether it is work ethic and perseverance or coincidence, I don't know. Maybe it's a bit of both. I just took my chance.

Crash.net
Was there a moment when you thought twice about accepting the F1 deal when it came up again?

Carlos Sainz Jr
It was a big moment for me when suddenly it came up and I saw Sebastian was leaving Red Bull. Suddenly, there was some light at the end of the tunnel. After that, there were two very tough months because no-one announced me. There was a discussion between F1 and myself and I still have two races to go in World Series. So it was a second half moment during the season, a season that I had to perform, a season I had to win.

Crash.net
Red Bull puts in a big investment with its drivers, but sets notoriously high standards. Do you feel pressure from Red Bull to succeed?

It's tough. It's very tough. In the end, you have to admit they can permit themselves to be that tough. Why? Because at the end they are paying millions for a driver of 15 years old, 16, and they don't know if he's going to be a world champion or not. So when they've do this huge investment, they expect you to perform and to win. They are very tough in this area, but you just have to take it and I'm sure that you just want to get on with it because if you ask any other driver in the young categories where they want to be, it's on the Red Bull programme.

Crash.net
What has the Red Bull programme given you that you wouldn't have otherwise developed on your own?

Carlos Sainz Jr
Red Bull has given me a chance to mature very early. When you have a boss like Helmut Marko and you have to deal with him since 15 years old and you have meetings with him head to head when you're 15 and he's being very tough with you, you become a much, much more mature person since the beginning. You are probably mature much quicker than any other 16-17 year old guy my age. I think this is the main thing at Red Bull.

Crash.net
Is out-scoring Max this season a specific target for you?

Carlos Sainz Jr
I don't know where we will be. I think it will be very close between Max and myself. From what I've seen with Max and what I've seen with me, I think we can do a very strong season for Toro Rosso.

Crash.net
Finally, if I was to sit with you in November at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and we were looking back at the last nine months, what could you look back and say 'that was a great season'

Carlos Sainz Jr
Not too many rookie mistakes, some good points in the bag. Finishing the first four races, finishing them to get experience and it will put me in a good position for the rest of the year.

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