Carlos Sainz says that he is very proud after his first qualifying session for Renault. The Spaniard stuck the R.S.17 in eighth place, pipping compatriot Fernando Alonso and the Force India of Sergio Perez in the final stages of Q3.
Sainz joins Renault this weekend from Toro Rosso, as the French team prepares him for the 2018 season. Despite thinking he would need time to get up to speed in the car, Sainz impressed throughout practice and qualifying and was left very happy following Saturday's events.
"Yellow suits me so far, yes! I can be pleased with how everything has gone," Sainz said. "I think we can be very proud, my side of the garage they've helped me a lot with this new challenge.
"Today was not easy, the wind picking up, the track temp going up, to see how the car was going to react in Q1 to those changes after an engine change before qualifying which I think made everything a bit more rushed. It was a very good reaction, very good first days with yellow. I can be very proud, yes."
Sainz confirmed that there were a number of differences from the Toro Rosso that he is used to and the Renault he will drive for the rest of the season. However, the 23-year-old says he is liking the challenge, claiming that it has been a very positive start.
"It requires a different driving style, a different reaction to the wind, with track temp, different brake pedal, different power steering. Everything is different," he said. "But during my life, I've always liked adapting to new cars and I've always enjoyed it. I've always gone into it with a very positive mindset to these kind of challenges. So far it's helping me, and the guys in the garage are helping me to adapt, and it's been a very good start for all of us."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing