Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz says he is not focusing on beating team-mate Max Verstappen this season, but rather on extracting the maximum potential from himself.

The Spaniard shone on his F1 debut in Australia two weeks ago, making it through to the top-ten shootout in qualifying and then claiming two points in the race when he brought his car home in ninth.

Despite the stronger performance though, Sainz was adamant that getting the better of his younger team-mate is not his target as such.

"For me the first motivation is always to extract the maximum potential from myself, focus myself and with self-confidence and knowing that you can extract the full potential from yourself then you should believe that you are in front of your teammate," Sainz explained.

"I believe Max is a great talent, I believe he is going to perform really well this year and he will be a very tough competitor.

"But my main focus, as I said, is not to beat him but first of all extract the maximum potential from myself and that will put me in a good position for sure."

Sainz also said that both are under the same amount of pressure, even though Verstappen's arrival at just 17-years-old has generated much debate and a lot of media attention.

"This may be a bit what it looked like from the outside [that it took the pressure off me a little bit], but obviously from the inside I perfectly know the amount of pressure I put on myself and the amount of pressure STR and Red Bull are putting on us and for sure I can tell you we have exactly the same amount of pressure to perform," Sainz added.

"So not really, to be honest, I think we were pretty equal in that sense and it was just a good weekend.

"It was a good debut [for me], which I am very happy with. It obviously gives you a boost of confidence and also a big boost of motivation to keep up the good work and keep improving because I'm sure I still have a lot, a lot, a lot to improve."



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