JUNE 18, 2015
Sainz smiling as he suffers with Renault power
Carlos Sainz has admitted he is having to "suffer" with an underpowered engine during his first season in formula one.
The rookie Spaniard is one of four drivers on the 2015 grid struggling with the unreliable and uncompetitive Renault 'power unit'.
Asked if he 'likes' the French-made V6 in his Toro Rosso, Sainz admitted to the Spanish broadcaster Antena 3: "No, I don't like it.
"I am always thinking 'I wish I had a better engine'. But who knows, maybe by the end of the year it will be much better.
"On the other hand, I have been fortunate to have been given a very good car by Toro Rosso, and what I really wanted in the world was to get into formula one.
"It makes no sense to criticise anyone, as I am living a dream. This year I have to suffer with this engine, but with a smile on my face," he added.
Indeed, 20-year-old Sainz says he can still starkly remember the day much less than a year ago when Dr Helmut Marko rang to tell him the vacant seat at Toro Rosso would not be his in 2015.
"I felt very bad," he admitted.
"Before the season, they had told me 'Carlos, this year is your last chance, the last year of your contract and you have to win'."
Sainz said he was holidaying with his family in the summer, happy that he was on the road to F1 by utterly dominating the Formula Renault 3.5 series.
"Suddenly they called me to say the seat was for Max Verstappen. They saw an unique opportunity to have this sort of new Ayrton Senna and they couldn't let it go, they were sorry, I was doing everything perfectly but they had to take him," he explained.
Ultimately, the second seat at Toro Rosso also opened up, pairing Sainz with the very high profile teenager Verstappen.
Sainz has admitted Verstappen's profile has him in the shade in 2015, but "I think that in terms of talent we are evenly matched".
"I have not noticed that he has more talent and I have not noticed that I have a lot more. But that is the way in F1 -- if you put all the drivers in the same car, there would only be half a second from first to last place.
"Who would be first? In my opinion, Hamilton or Fernando, and it would be very close," Sainz concluded.