Verstappen exit good for Toro Rosso, says Sainz

Carlos Sainz says Toro Rosso's atmosphere has changed for the better following the mid-season swap between Max Verstappen and Daniil Kvyat.

Verstappen exit good for Toro Rosso, says Sainz
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso on the grid
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso
Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11

In the wake of Kvyat's difficult start to the season for Red Bull, and tensions between Sainz/Verstappen at Toro Rosso, it was felt that a mid-season driver change would help both outfits.

The result has been an impressive maiden victory for Verstappen, and Toro Rosso enjoying a less tense atmosphere which has helped Sainz shine in recent races.

Asked by Motorsport.com about whether Verstappen's departure had changed things at the team – with Sainz appearing more relaxed in public too – he said: “The situation has changed a bit for sure. Everything has reshuffled a bit and I think everyone in the team is working really well.

“Myself [along] with Daniil [Kvyat], we are working towards the same direction, we are pushing the team forward.

“If this is making myself look more relaxed, I don't know. But it could be also that I started having less bad luck in Barcelona.

“I am relaxed because of that [Barcelona’s performance], I arrived into Russia [thinking] that everything is happening to me, [but] after Barcelona I am calm now because it’s okay."

Team growing

Sainz says that his attitude to delivering for Toro Rosso has not changed, but it could be that the team itself is operating better.

“I can tell you my approach hasn’t changed at all in terms of how I prepare for a race, how I come into a race, my mentality hasn’t changed,” he added.

“The team is growing. As I said Monaco was a setback but the team is growing a lot, the arrival of John [Booth] for sure is helping.

“The shuffle, everything is working towards the right direction, even if we are not bringing upgrades for first seven races, we have actually not fallen back.

“We are staying up there while all our competitors are bringing upgrades after upgrades. We have the same thing since the first race, we haven’t fallen back. So it means we are developing well.”

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