Carlos Sainz Jr says Toro Rosso has demonstrated its true potential at the Spanish Grand Prix and was thrilled to take the best result of his F1 career in his home race.

The 21-year-old produced a fantastic getaway off the line to jump to third after the Mercedes pair collided which forced a safety car period.

At the restart Sainz was unable to stop the charging Ferrari pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel and despite also being reeled in by Valtteri Bottas the Spaniard held on for sixth and with it his best result of his burgeoning F1 career.

"It was a fantastic weekend in general I would say," Sainz said. "From the start of practice we showed a really strong pace and we managed to confirm it in the race, and this is exactly what we should have done in all the previous races.

"It was just a matter of time before we managed to put a whole weekend together. I did it in front of my home crowd and I'm really happy for that."

The Toro Rosso driver also gave a nod to former team-mate Max Verstappen who claimed a historic maiden F1 win on his debut for Red Bull, having replaced Daniil Kvyat after the Russian Grand Prix.

"I congratulate him, I think it's great for the Red Bull family to show that they keep bringing in young talent. And we keep on proving them right," he said "From my side, I just hope I can one day battle with him for those wins, as we did for P8s and Q3s because I think I'm capable of it, and hopefully it will come soon."

Sainz was fortunate to leave Circuit de Catalunya without a penalty after driving through a red light at pit exit on his way to the grid before the race. The stewards opted to give him his first reprimand of the season as he stopped the car and hadn't gained any advantage.



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