“I enjoy coming to Budapest as it’s a great city and the track is old skool and a good one,” said Carlos Sainz this afternoon at the Hungaroring, which hosts the eleventh round of the world championship this Sunday. The Spaniard was asked to pinpoint the special challenge of this tight track: “The fact that it is very difficult to get into a rhythm and that is exactly what you need to get around here,” he replied. “You need the rhythm to go from corner to corner and when you leave the garage to do just one flying lap for Quali on Saturday, that is quite tricky. We all enjoy that moment as we know how challenging it is. On the down side, it can be a bit boring during the race as there are not so many overtaking opportunities, but then last year here we had one of the most interesting races of the season so we have to wait and see.”

(Carlos Sainz during the Spanish Grand Prix)

This is the time of year when one can reflect on the first half of the season and Sainz sees it as an upward curve of improvement. “We’ve had a good season after a difficult start, when I seemed to still have that “black cat” with me from the previous year. But in Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix everything came together and since then we have scored a good amounts of points and can be very pleased with that. To do that for the second half of the season will not be easy as we may not be able to develop as much as bigger teams. But it gives us confidence that we are improving and doing things right. We have to keep working that way, because clean weekends mean points for Toro Rosso. It’s true that we need to also focus on 2017 when there are big changes, but we need to keep scoring points this season, therefore the team will continue with some development work for this year.”

“Even though there is a very long main straight here -said Daniil-, the Hungaroring in theory should suit our car better than the tracks we’ve just visited,”he began. “However, the reality hasn’t always matched the theory this year, so let’s wait and see, as I have no real idea what to expect at the moment. Sunday at Silverstone (Kvyat finished 10th in the British GP) was quite strong from our side and I think we should be okay here too.”

(Daniil Kvyat during the British Grand Prix)

Our Russian driver had quite a lot to say about the resurfacing work carried out over the entire length of the circuit here. “It will have an effect on tyre behaviour and evaluating that will be on the job list for tomorrow,” he commented before giving his own take on another aspect of these track improvements. “In the end, many of the tracks start to resemble one another, in terms of having the same tarmac and the same kerbs. I don’t think that is necessarily the right direction to go in. The Hungaroring has always had its unique bumps, which you have to think about every time you drive it, as well as having different kerbs and that was part of its character and had an effect on how you set up the car. We should not aim for too much perfection in a race track, because sometimes an imperfect track can be more interesting to drive and going over the bumps requires a lot of driving skill. But for the Hungaroring, let’s see tomorrow before making any judgement.”