Carlos Sainz says he is looking for redemption in Singapore this weekend after he threw away one of the best qualifying positions of his career in sixth position by having a poor start. He eventually finished 14th in what was a very disappointing result for the team and driver when they would have expected to score a large handful of points.
This year he is in the middle of huge discussions which have ramifications for the rest of the grid, with his potential move to Renault the key to much of the engine market. His move, which has been rumoured to take place as early as Sepang, would see Renault accept McLaren as an engine partner with Toro Rosso gaining Honda engines, such is the complicated nature of the driver market going into next year.
Sainz has seemingly been unhappy for most of the year at Toro Rosso, unable to see much of an opportunity in the senior Red Bull team because of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo's stellar performances and the Toro Rosso team unable to give him the competitive drive he needs. If he moves on he would become only the third driver to drive for another team other than Red Bull after going through Toro Rosso, with Sebastian Vettel and Vitantio Liuzzi the only other drivers to escape the Red Bull system.
The Spaniard said this in the build up to this weekends Grand Prix: “I'd say Singapore is probably the toughest race on the calendar, not only because of the demands of the circuit itself, but also because of the physical stresses regarding the driver. The physical stress of driving at more than 50 or 60 degrees inside the cockpit due to the heat and humidity is enormous.
"The air doesn't flow, as the city skyscrapers don't allow it and you really feel the hot air inside the car! The track itself is really long, very tight and extremely demanding. There's no time to rest during the lap and you have to be 100% focussed at all times, as the walls are all very close.
“Last year I performed one of my best qualifying sessions of the season, something which is very important to do in Singapore as it's difficult to overtake during the race. Unfortunately, the good qualifying didn't count for much in the end, as I had a frustrating start when I got hit as the lights went out… It was a very tough moment, as I was expecting to fight for points. We probably lost a chance of scoring a strong result! Let's see if we can do it this year…”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing