Get the full RACE RESULTS for the Chinese Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz Jr. says that his Toro Rosso Formula 1 team thought he was "totally mad" to start Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix on slick tyres, only for the gamble to pay off as he charged to a seventh-place finish.

Rain in the lead-up to the start of the race prompted the majority of drivers to fit intermediate tyres for the start, but with dry patches emerging on the track, most were ready to pit in the opening laps and make the switch to slicks.

Sainz thought it was worth holding out for the track to dry, fitting super-soft tyres for the start. Although he dropped to the back of the field on the first lap, he soon managed to rise up the order as the rest of the runners pitted.

"Honestly at the beginning, when I saw everyone on inters, I thought it was the wrong decision, but in those moments, you have to trust yourself," Sainz explained.

"You should have seen the faces of my engineers, of Franz [Tost], of Helmut Marko when I told them I wanted to go on the super-softs. It was quite funny now, but in the moment I was not so convinced.

"I trusted myself. I knew the first four corners were going to be very tough, but that from Turn 6 onwards it was dry and it was going to come back to me. Suddenly I rejoined the pack after Turn 9 and I said 'OK, I'm not so stupid anymore!' Everyone started to pit and I was there in P4 or P5. I think it was worth the risk."

Sainz said the tyre call was his entirely, and although his engineer questioned the decision, the team put its faith in the Spaniard's decision.

"The good thing is that I didn't need to argue," Sainz said. "I told him I'm convinced, I want the super-soft, I think it will pay off. Let's play the long game. They looked at me like I was totally mad, but it was worth it.

"When everyone started to pit at the end of lap two with the safety car, I said now I've taken the right decision, and I was so happy. But again the race was not won in our way, only there it was also on the pace on the super-soft catching the Red Bull and Ferrari in damp conditions."

Despite next weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix being due to run in bone dry conditions, Sainz said the wet-weather result in China acts as a big boost to Toro Rosso heading to Sakhir.

"[Bahrain is] completely different but when you take such a big decision, the team trusts you on the decision and they have blind confidence in you, I think it's a massive step that we can take on for Bahrain and a big lesson learned that we are doing great efforts and a great team," Sainz said.

Find out how the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix grid lines up - CLICK HERE


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