Sainz: Brazil is bright and loud, kind of like Mexico last time...

Sainz: Brazil is bright and loud, kind of like Mexico last time out, but different in its own unique way

Carlos Sainz
photo: Renault Sport

After a premature end to the Mexican Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz is chomping at the bit for Interlagos as he targets a return to the points to contribute to the team’s quest of sealing fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.

How would you describe the Brazilian Grand Prix?

Interlagos is all about the history, and I really enjoy racing at these old, legendary circuits. The Brazilian Grand Prix is the location of a lot of famous Formula 1 stories and drivers, including, of course, Ayrton Senna, and that makes the weekend even more special. In terms of the culture, it’s bright and loud, kind of like Mexico last time out, but different in its own unique way. The food in Brazil is also one of my favourites; I’m a big fan of meat dishes and São Paulo is very good for these types of restaurants.

What’s the secret to a fast lap-time around Interlagos?

The track is quite challenging with a number of elevation changes and a variety of cambers in the corners. It feels like a rollercoaster ride! The in-field bit is tough as it’s twisty with a couple of blind and sharp turns where it can be easy to lock the inside wheel. You have to get into a rhythm around the circuit and try not to compromise any corners as that hampers you for next the turn. The Grandstands are always packed-out there, but the atmosphere feels more like a football match than a Formula 1 race, it’s always so loud!

Are you hoping for some wet weather?

Interlagos is synonymous with unpredictable weather. There are usually a couple of surprises year on year. It can be hot and dry and then suddenly the torrential rain will pour in. I remember a couple of years ago, we were fifteenth on the grid, but it rained on race day and suddenly we were in amongst it and we managed a solid sixth place finish. Adapting quickly to the conditions is a good skill to have in Brazil, so we’ll see what happens! Maybe rain would be a good thing.

What’s the post-Mexico feeling?

It was a real pity. Having to retire after 28 laps while leading the midfield and losing eight valuable points is always frustrating. It was fun to make up some places on lap one – even getting ahead of a Ferrari – but it was disappointing for it to end like it did, mainly because it would have been an even stronger result for the team if both cars had finished in the points. We dust ourselves down quickly, though, and move on as we’re certain we can be in the mix again in Brazil. I have two races left in the black and yellow, so of course, I’d like to leave with two positive results.