Carlos Sainz Junior got his first taste of Formula 1 when he took part in the second day of the Young Drivers Test at Silverstone, driving for Toro Rosso, and declared that it “was the best day of his life”.
The 18 year old Spaniard, son of rally legend Carlos Sainz (senior), spoke after an afternoon stint which saw him complete 40 laps, “For me this day has been the best day of my life and a dream has come true. After jumping out of the car I went and thanked every mechanic and every engineer at Toro Rosso as they have been part of the most important and happiest day of my life.”
“The feeling was completely unbelievable,” he added with a huge smile.
If the youngster was impressed with Formula 1, then Formula 1 has to be impressed with the youngster’s debut as he powered around the grand prix circuit to set the second best time of the day – only 0.044 seconds shy of the best time set by Toro Rosso’s regular driver Daniel Ricciardo – watched by his rally worldchampion father and oozing the confidence of someone who knows that he belongs in F1.
“In January I wasn’t even thinking that I would have a chance to step into an F1 car and now I have had half a day at Silverstone – if there is a track that you are going to feel an F1 car and its potential then it is here at Silverstone,” said the kid from Madrid.
“It is more for you [media] and Toro Rosso to judge it – it is not up to me,” said Sainz. “Of course you always prefer to see yourself P2 rather than P9, but I could have been two seconds off the pace – I am not sure. It is very difficult to judge with so many factors that can affect it – downforce, kilos – this car can be eight seconds faster or it can be eight seconds slower as there can be such a big difference in fuel loads.
“So I leave it up to you guys to judge because I don’t want to really think about how good I have done until they tell me how good I have done,” he challenged the assembled press corps.
Sainz is currently campaigning in the GP3 Series with MW Arden and Formula Renault 3.5 Series with Zeta Corse, and admitted that the leap in performance was huge.
“It is a very, very big change. This test I was thinking that it was a good bench mark for me to asses my physical point of view – it was very important to see how good physically I am – and to be honest I am more tired when I got out of the car, my body has never had these feelings and is not used to the lateral G-Forces,” he revealed.
“So for sure it is one of my tiredest days but I am pleased to say I never had to rest my neck or step out of the car to stretch. So in this sense I am happy as I didn’t have any issues,” reported Sainz.
On the day after his ‘best day’ he will step into the Red Bull RB9, where he will be on duty for the world champion team which is certain to be another great day for the talented Spaniard, who has emerged as one to watch for the future. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.