After a chilled summer break, Carlos Sainz is eager to get back behind the wheel of the Renault R.S.18, as he looks forward to taking on the legendary Spa-Francorchamps.
What’s there to say about Spa-Francorchamps?
Spa is very enjoyable as it has everything: fast corners, long straights, overtaking opportunities, elevation changes and random weather! I like racing in Spa, it’s one of the special Grands Prix in Formula 1, and one all drivers look forward to racing. I enjoy sector two, as it’s quite busy and has a nice flow to it. It’s tough to find that perfect car balance between setting up for the flowing corners, which require high downforce, while being careful not to take off too much straight-line speed, which you need for the Kemmel Straight and before the bus-stop chicane.
Do you have a favourite corner there?
Of course Eau Rouge is the most famous corner at Spa, but I quite like Pouhon, the long left-hander in the middle sector. It’s quite a difficult corner to get right, as you head down the hill and pray for grip with the car taking the corner at over 260kph in seventh gear. You get such a buzz through there!
What did you do over the summer break?
It’s been an intense summer due to the movements in the driver market. However, I spent my summer break with my family and friends and had a good chance to rest and pick up some energy before this second part of the season. Training and nutrition were still present during the break, but I did have a couple of extra ice creams!
What’s the plan of action for the rest of the season?
There are still a lot of races to go this year and I’m determined to leave Renault having driven the R.S.18 at its very best. While it’s nice to have a little break, I’m a driver and I love to race, so the sooner I get in the car, the happier I will be! We have a lot of hard work to come throughout this next phase of the season. Staying fourth in the championship will not be easy, but we’re up for the challenge, and I’ll be giving it my all to deliver the results on track. It’s good that I’ll still have the link to Renault next season, but my focus is definitely on the races this year.