P5 'like a pole position' for Sainz at home race

© XPB 

Carlos Sainz says qualifying in fifth place at his home grand prix was like securing a pole position for Toro Rosso.

The Spaniard will start from the third row alongside team-mate Max Verstappen after a hugely impressive qualifying performance from the two rookies. With Sainz delighting his home crowd on Saturday afternoon, he admits it is a special result for the team.

"You obviously have a lot more interviews and photos to take, press conferences and all that, but to be honest I didn’t realise I was in Spain until the Q3 in lap, when I suddenly came out of my qualifying bubble and I looked around to see all of the crowds cheering," Verstappen said.

"I realised this must be for me! For the first time in the season, I was waving to the crowd and it felt like a pole position. It is the same feeling."

And Sainz says Toro Rosso has not been able to show its true performance on the first four tracks this season.

"We have a very strong aero package and Barcelona is a lot about the aero. The upgrade we brought for T3, it was out of the box and still the car was fully loaded, a lot of downforce and was there.

"Then we had some tracks where there were very long straights that didn’t benefit us a lot, but finally we came to a track that suits our car and we are there. The whole season I have been saying we have a great car, so everything is working really well."

Click here for Saturday's gallery from the Spanish Grand Prix

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