Carlos Sainz Jr wants to keep the detailed differences between Toro Rosso and Renault to himself to use as “an advantage” against his F1 rivals.

The Spanish driver has made the early switch from the Italian team to the French manufacturer for the final four rounds of the 2017 campaign ahead of his one-year loan from Red Bull for next season.

As a result, Sainz has been given the rare opportunity to drive two different F1 cars in the same season but any key comparisons he wants to keep quiet in order to give himself an edge over his opposition as he will understand the strengths and weaknesses of each package in the intense midfield battle.

Renault wanted Sainz for the final four races of the year to boost its F1 world constructors’ championship charge as it sits eighth in the standings but just 10 points off of Toro Rosso in sixth place.

“The difference are something I prefer to keep for myself because it is an advantage,” Sainz said. “I am not going to know two balances, two different philosophies, two different teams, two different cars often. It is an advantage that I prefer to keep to myself and to my team.

“I also think it is not fair to compare publicly the different car behaviours or anything like that. I will keep that in my pocket and use it for my advantage.”

Sainz did reveal key differences between the two cars centred around power steering, balance, braking and throttle – despite the two using the same Renault power unit on the two latter points – as he got up to speed in the R.S.17 and finished FP2 at the United States Grand Prix in 11th and 0.005s ahead of new team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.

“In the end the power unit is the throttle pedal and the downward shifts but you want to adapt to the pace, to the power steering, to the balance of the car,” he said. “All these kind of things that at the moment I have been adapting to little by little throughout the day.

“I am still not 100% there yet and still need to leave some space in the back of my mind to feel the different stuff going on in the car but hopefully when I do more laps it will become more natural and more automatic so we can be ready tomorrow.”


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