Sainz: Singapore my greatest ever race

Sainz: Singapore my greatest ever race
By AutoSport

19/09/2017 at 11:23Updated

Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr believes the Singapore Grand Prix was his greatest race.

Starting 10th on the grid, Sainz recovered from a poor getaway when his anti-stall kicked in to run just outside the podium positions for much of the race as he excelled in the wet conditions at Marina Bay.

The end result was an F1 career-best fourth place.

As the track dried out and the field switched to dry tyres, Sainz spent much of the time defending from rivals who were on the ultra-softs while he was on the super-softs.

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"This was the best one, no doubt," he said,when asked if Singapore was the best race he had ever driven.

"I had very good pace in the wet and very good pace on the used inter against the new inter.

"Managing to fend off guys on the ultra was one of the best stints I've done in F1.

"We finished fourth, which is incredible, unthinkable."

Sainz said it was a team decision, rather than his own, to switch to the super-softs and that made the last part of the race particularly challenging.

"Let's say it did cost me some extra work at the beginning of the stint," he said.

"Thanks to the warm up of the super[-soft], we were overcut by [Nico] Hulkenberg who stayed out on the inter and I had a poor out-lap on the super.

"The laps I had to fend off Checo [Sergio Perez], I was doing qualifying laps defending. They were tough."

Sainz was one of seven drivers in the top 10 to start on the intermediate rather than the full wet.

He said even despite his poor start, he could relax once he knew race leader Lewis Hamilton had made the same tyre choice.

"I stayed calm. I knew the race was very long," said Sainz.

"When they told me Hamilton was on it too, I had the confidence knowing that I wasn't the only one on inters."

The result extended his points tally to 48 points - two more than he scored in 2016 - and helped consolidate his ninth position in the drivers' standings.