Sainz 'surprised' race start not delayed

© XPB 

Carlos Sainz admitted that he was surprised the start of the Malaysian Grand Prix wasn't delayed after his Toro Rosso stalled on the grid.

Yellow flags were shown indicating that Sainz was in trouble, and there was a lengthy delay to the red lights coming on to commence the starting procedure, but eventually the race did get underway without the need for an additional formation lap.

"It was quite an eventful race right from the start," said Sainz. "Also very stressful, as I was doing a clutch warming when I arrived to the grid and the engine suddenly stopped!

"Normally when you are doing a clutch warming, and you do it a bit aggressively, you catch some anti-stall," he told Autosport magazine.

"This time it didn't happen, so it was a very surprising event, but we managed to switch the engine back on with the one thing we have on the steering wheel to do that.

"I managed to turn it back on and it was just as the lights went out, [but] I was definitely surprised the race started," he admitted. "They were waiting for me, probably."

After the drama on the grid, Sainz went on to complete the race albeit in 11th place, unable to catch and pass Renault's one-stopping Jolyon Palmer before the chequered flag came out.

"We tried to follow the opposite strategy to many others – when the first Virtual Safety Car was deployed we decided to stay out, which was a bit risky, but meant we were fighting for the points positions

"In the end, we did a good race and if we didn't end up in the points it's because we just didn't have the pace, not because we didn't try.

"We will of course keep working and I now look forward to Japan, a race that has become one of my favourites after enjoying it for the first time last year. I also can't wait to meet all those amazing Japanese fans again, they definitely give you an extra boost!"

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