In conversation, with Carlos Sainz

The World Series by Renault returned this weekend at Motorland Aragon, Spain, giving us the opportunity to sit down for a chat with the reigning Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion and ask him about his rise to Formula One.

It’s been six months since you won the Formula Renault 3.5 Series title. How does it feel to be back at the World Series by Renault ?
I’ve had some good times at Motorland Aragon, so I’m happy to be back, especially as I won here last year. The fans here create a special atmosphere, and the World Series by Renault is a family that I’m delighted to stay in touch with.

What is your happiest memory of your time in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, and the worst ?
One of my best memories without doubt is winning here, on home ground. My two wins at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France later in the season were unforgettable too. They gave me a decisive advantage in the championship race, but driving at home in your own country always has a special feel to it, whether things work out or they don’t, like at Jerez. I wanted to win the race but I got food poisoning and my plans went out of the window. Moscow was a weekend to forget too.

Motorland Aragón 2014

What advice would you give to young drivers ?
It’s not enough just to want to drive. You have to work hard the whole time and apply yourself if you’re going to improve in every aspect as a driver and in terms of set-up and preparation etc. That’s why the World Series by Renault is an excellent development series for drivers who want to get ahead and break into F1. The Formula Renault 3.5 Series gives you the basics you need as a racing driver.

Do you always have a run around the track with your father on the morning before a race ?
My father is always by my side, both in my life and the competitive arena. Obviously, I make more of my own decisions these days, but we have a relationship of trust with each other and with the Toro Rosso team. He’s a natural when it comes to getting the set-up right and he likes to sit and chat with the mechanics. His advice has been very valuable to me throughout my career.

If you weren’t driving for the Scuderia Toro Rosso, what would you be doing ?
I’ve always had an interest in the business world. I would have liked to have got something going in Spain, probably something to do with karting in Madrid with my father. I also would have enjoyed looking into new opportunities with my friends. I just don’t have the time now, but in another life I think I’d make a very good businessman. ;)

Renault Sport R.S. 01
Carlos Sainz at the wheel of the Renault Sport R.S. 01 !
After completing his first laps in the F1 Infiniti Red Bull Racing at the World Series by Renault meeting at Motorland Aragon, Carlos Sainz took the Renault Sport R.S. 01 out on to the track for a few laps, an experience that he found thoroughly enjoyable. “I’m pleasantly surprised by the performance of the car. It handles really nicely,” said the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion afterwards. “The car’s strong points are its efficient braking, downforce and traction. The engineers at Renault Sport have created a prototype that’s formidable on the track and a pleasure to drive.” As the Spanish driver went on to say, the car’s technology should see the advent of an “exciting competition” at Spa-Francorchamps.

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