Carlos Sainz thinks starting from a higher grid position at the Canadian Grand Prix would not have resulted in him securing a better result than the strong P9 the Toro Rosso ace claimed in Montreal.
Having crashed out of Q2, the Spaniard was then forced to start from 20th following a five-place penalty due to a gearbox change. Despite the race featuring no Safety Car, Sainz steadily picked his way up the order to claim his third consecutive points finish.
“I am really happy with how the race went,” the 21-year-old said. “I quickly forgot about the disappointment of Saturday and eventually scored a strong result.
“Even if the qualifying mistake had not happened, we would not have been much better than P9. Maybe a P8 was possible but that’s it. I am very pleased with that. We did a really good strategy, very decent pit stops at the right time.
“At the first stop, we managed to undercut a lot of cars with some good quali laps. I had not done them on Saturday but could do it at that time of the race (laughs). This put ourselves in contention with the two Force Indias. We were now in the leading group and I could go with them until the end with the same strategy.”
With Circuit Gilles Villeneuve putting a lot of emphasis on the power unit, Toro Rosso, which is racing year-old Ferrari engines this season, was braced for a challenging weekend. Thus, Sainz was surprised to perform so well but he is now confident his STR11 can be competitive on all kinds of tracks.
“We were really strong in this circuit, which we were not expecting at all. I want to congratulate the team; it means we are doing things right and we keep moving forward.
“I have now found a good baseline on my car that I can not apply more or less to every track and that gives me a lot of confidence. On the out laps, I can really push to do some good undercuts.”
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