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Toro Rosso Carlos Sainz Chinese Grand Prix
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Sainz: ‘Mad’ tyre gamble paid off

Chinese Grand Prix – Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz was delighted to secure seventh place after profiting from a pre-race gamble to start on slick tyres.

Despite the damp conditions for the start of the Chinese Grand Prix, Sainz was the only man to attempt to start the race on slick tyres. He elected for supersoft tyres with every other drivers starting on intermediates.

After a tricky opening few corners, Sainz stayed in touch with the field and moved up to sixth place following the tyre changes for the rest of the field.

Despite a spin and barrier contact behind the safety car, he would go on to finish the race in seventh place after losing out to a recovering Valtteri Bottas.

“What a race, I just don’t have words to describe it!” said Sainz.

“On the grid I said I wanted to start the race on slick tyres and everyone thought I was completely mad! It sounds like a funny moment now, but when everyone took the blankets off the tyres and my race engineer told me that we were the only ones the supersoft tyre I doubted my decision.

“I knew the start and the first four corners were going to be very tricky – and they certainly were – but from Turn 6 onwards the track was fully dry and I felt confident – the gamble definitely paid off.

“But today’s result isn’t only thanks to this decision; it’s also down to the pace that we showed in damp conditions. After the Safety Car, I saw myself catching Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes in front and I got super excited!

“It was just an incredible race, I felt so comfortable in the car today and to finally cross the line in P7 is a great result – I’d like to thank the team for the whole weekend, we can all be very happy!”

Despite a non-finish for Daniil Kvyat due to hydraulics issues, the result promotes Toro Rosso into fourth place in the constructors’ championship.

About Luke Murphy

I've been a motor racing fan since the late 90's, enjoying the underdog stories, the history and the technology of the sport. Graduate of Huddersfield University with a BEng Motorsport Engineering Degree and a keen amateur karter.

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