License to Thrill - Q&A with Carlos Sainz

It was a brilliant Sunday for Carlos Sainz in Austin to extend his immaculate US Grand Prix points-scoring record. Now the Spaniard has set his immediate focus on Mexico City and aims to put on a show in front of a passionate crowd.

What’s there to say about the Mexican Grand Prix?
The Mexican Grand Prix is a popular one amongst the drivers and it’s certainly a weekend I enjoy a lot. It’s a special atmosphere and we feel the passion and energy of the fans there. In terms of the circuit, it’s a tricky one because the effective downforce is low, which makes the car feel lighter than usual. There are a blend of long straights, some fast sweeping corners and also a couple of twisty turns to get right, especially in the final section in the stadium complex where there’s no room for error in front of a big crowd who are observing from all angles!

What do you like about the Mexican atmosphere?
Mexicans are clearly very passionate for Formula 1. You get a real sense of that through the weekend. They only have Checo to root for and as they are Spanish speaking, you could say Fernando and I are also quite well supported there, at least that’s how I feel. In terms of culture, I quite like the Day of the Dead theme as well and the locals go all out for that. It’s great to see the fans on the drivers’ parade and it’s a nice feeling saying ‘hola’ to over 200,000 people.

Are you a fan of Mexican food?
I like Mexican food, as long as it isn’t too spicy. It’s a bit ironic that my nickname is Chilli and I don’t even like spicy food! My go to meal in Mexico is quesadillas, quick and easy and not too hot. Anything’s better than the burger Nico made for me last week!

How pleasing was the weekend in Austin?
It’s a massive result for the team. We pushed very hard all weekend to score this result and the work has paid off. We definitely had better pace in Austin and hopefully we can carry this on through Mexico and the remaining races. We need to keep scoring points. We can’t stay comfortable as we know anything can happen between now and the end of the season, but this result definitely gives us a boost and we have to relish this and repeat the form in Mexico.