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Carlos Sainz Jr: Singapore GP was 'my best day in F1' after fourth place finish for Toro Rosso

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Carlos Sainz Jr: Singapore GP was 'my best day in F1' after fourth place finish for Toro Rosso
Sep 18, 2017, 2:52 PM

After finishing fourth at the Singapore Grand Prix, Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz Jr couldn't hide his elation and called the race his "best day in For...

After finishing fourth at the Singapore Grand Prix, Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz Jr couldn't hide his elation and called the race his "best day in Formula 1," having started 10th on the grid.

The 23-year-old, who is to join Renault next year in place of Jolyon Palmer, navigated trouble at the start of the race on intermediate tyres, then pulled of a one-stop strategy to take fourth place - his best F1 finish - on super-softs.

Having missed the first practice session on Friday for F2 driver Sean Gelael, Sainz went on to make Q3 and qualify 10th, behind Stoffel Vandoorne and his McLaren-Honda team-mate Fernando Alonso.

The Turn 1 crash between the two Ferraris and Max Verstappen's Red Bull was a non-issue for the driver, who gained just one position from that collision.

Toro Rosso's choice of intermediate tyres for the driver paid off. When five drivers ahead of him pitted for intermediates from laps 11-13, Sainz jumped to fourth place and stayed there until lap 27 on that same set.

A gamble to take super-softs paid off again: even though lost three positions while pitting, Sainz had undercut Sergio Perez and Jolyon Palmer to put himself back in fifth by lap 30. Those super-soft tyres were made to last for the final 31 laps.

When Nico Hulkenberg's Renault suffered an oil leak on lap 38, Sainz was set for a shock fourth place finish, his best ever.

This was also Toro Rosso's best result since the 2015 USA GP, and only the sixth time the outfit had a driver finish fourth or better in its history.

"Wow, what a day, what a result!" said Sainz after the race.

"I'd say this was probably my best day in Formula 1 up until now.

"After a weekend with so much media attention, to put together a perfect weekend and finish the race in P4 is just amazing.

"To start the race on intermediate tyres, then switch to the super-soft - where I struggled a bit during the first laps - and then make it to the end without losing positions is just the perfect way to celebrate a difficult weekend...it's definitely one I will always remember.

"I have to say that the most difficult part of the race for me was the start of my stint on the super-soft - it was not easy at all.

"I tried to do my best during the out-lap but Hulkenberg managed to overcut me.

"Luckily for me he then had a problem and from then onwards it was all about defending from Checo [Perez], who had been faster than us on Friday and also was on ultras.

"It was very difficult to keep him behind, looking in my mirrors the whole time, but in the end we did it.

"I had my flight booked to go back home tonight, but I'm definitely cancelling this - we need to celebrate this excellent result all together, this team have also done an amazing job this weekend," he said.

Even though current Renault driver Palmer - who also scored his best-ever finish at Marina Bay - has refuted suggestions that he may have to vacate his seat as early as this current season for Sainz, the Toro Rosso driver has kept himself focused on the task at hand.

"I’m still not thinking it’s going to be my last race,” he said.

"Since [news of the switch to Renault] happened I told my team, my group of engineers, my mechanics, ‘let’s go for this weekend, let’s do a perfect weekend, let’s not care about what happens next’.

"They showed a big amount of support, telling me they were extremely happy for me and for my future.

"Altogether we were super motivated and we put together a perfect weekend. I’m very proud of them and very grateful to them because they’ve been a great source of support."

Will Carlos Sainz Jr continue to produce results for Renault next year? Have your say on his Singapore GP performance in the comment section below or on our Facebook Page.
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Carlos Sainz Jr. Shop Now
Teams Toro Rosso Shop Now