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Sainz seeking to build on 'positive start' to 2018

Carlos Sainz, Renault
©WRI2

Carlos Sainz hopes that Renault's points-winning form will continue at the second Grand Prix of 2018 in Bahrain next weekend.

Both Sainz and his team mate Nico Hulkenberg finished in the top ten in the season opener at Melbourne. Sainz overcame a problem with his drinks system that left him feeling physically sick to hold off Sergio Perez for tenth.

"Having both cars in the points is a very positive start for the team," Sainz said this week. "We can be proud of the weekend.

"Scoring points at the first Grand Prix of the year is always important and the pace was there.

"From my side, I felt more confident with the car as the sessions went by," he added. "I’m confident there are still many setups to explore."

After the street circuit nature of Albert Park, the Bahrain International Circuit presents a very different challenge for drivers.

"I can´t wait to jump into the car in Bahrain," he smiled.

"It’s quite a standard lap with some flowing corners and long straights, which should bring overtaking opportunities," he described. "It can be tough on the braking system.

"Turns 9-10 are the trickiest on the circuit. In fact, it might be one of the most challenging sequences of the season," he suggested. "You have to brake and turn at the same time making it easy to lock-up.

"Turn 12 is an interesting one, because one lap you can go flat there if the wind is on your side. But then you try the same thing the next lap and it’s impossible because of a change in wind direction.

The fact that the Bahrain race is run after dusk under floodlights also complicates matters.

"It’s always cool racing at night and under the lights, which makes this race one of the more unique of the calendar.

"Some braking points change slightly throughout the weekend due to the timings of the sessions," he said. "We take references from Free Practice 2

"FP2 is very important as it’s the only session representative of the race conditions."

And the change to the weekend timetable also means that the drivers get to enjoy some of the attractions of Sakhir.

"The adapted schedule to fit in with the evening race start frees up some time to spend mornings relaxing," he said.

Swimming and golf were among the activities he has lined up. However, a true racing driver can't go too long without getting behind the wheel.

"There is also a go karting track next to the Formula 1 circuit, which is one of the coolest karting tracks I’ve ever driven!"

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