Sainz: ‘Much more potential than a P9’

© XPB 

Carlos Sainz Jr. thinks he could have harvested a much bigger maiden points haul than the two he picked up for securing a ninth place finish in the Australian Grand Prix.

Lining up seventh on the grid, the Toro Rosso debutant was running well into the top ten during his opening stint when a very slow pit stop dropped him out of the points-paying positions.

The 20-year-old Spaniard was still able to climb back through the reduced field and looked set to clinch P8 only to be overhauled by Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber in the closing stages of the race.

This does not prevent Sainz from savouring his first championship points, with the reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion generally having the upped hand over rookie team-mate Verstappen in Australia.

“I’m very pleased to have scored my first ever Formula 1 points in my debut race here in Melbourne!,” said Sainz. “Obviously, we know there was much more potential than a P9 today but, all in all, if we take into account everything that happened, we need to stay positive, keep improving and believing in ourselves because we know we can do better.

“The slow pit-stop was a tough moment for the whole team, as we were in a very good position and lost quite a lot of time. From then onwards the race changed and it was just a matter of bringing it home without problems.”

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