Carlos Sainz says he is keen to ‘reset’ his 2016 F1 campaign from next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, after the Toro Rosso driver experienced a challenging quartet of flyaway races.
Although Sainz managed to score points in Australia and China, the Spaniard was also forced to retire in Bahrain following a collision with Force India’s Sergio Perez and suffered a litany of issues in Russia last time out.
With the Ferrari-powered STR11 showing promising pace since the start of the season, Sainz is left frustrated at the missed opportunities.
“We are not hiding it, we are very disappointed with the way these first four races went,” Sainz said. “Me personally, because I thought more points in Australia was possible. In Bahrain looking at the pace we had was amazing, to have to retire after lap one with the crash with Perez.
“China was the cleanest of the races and [in Russia] with all this happening we feel like we should have picked up more points. But anyway, it’s like this and still a long season ahead. Hopefully the others don’t come to Barcelona with a massive engine step and we can still fight everyone.”
Toro Rosso is running a late 2015-spec Ferrari power unit, which means the Faenza-based outfit cannot develop its engine under the current regulations and is likely to slip down the pecking order as the season unfolds. However, Sainz heads to his home race eager to start anew and confident of a strong result.
Speaking before news of Max Verstappen’s promotion to Red Bull broke out, the 21-year-old added: “For me I’d like to do a kind of reset. These four flyaway races are the part of the season when anything can happen. There’s always things going on, hopefully from Barcelona onwards we can start a bit from zero.
“We have a stronger package I think for the European races and for this kind of long, straight tracks, and I’m looking forward because I think we can pick up a lot of pace and a lot of points that we didn’t pick up in these first races.”