Carlos Sainz Jr says there's little point in reading too much into his impressive lap times for Toro Rosso at the Formula 1 young driver test.
The Spaniard recorded the second fastest time of the day at Silverstone on Thursday, just a few hundredths of a second shy of Toro Rosso race driver Daniel Ricciardo, but was quick to point out that a test is not the same as the real thing.
"This test is just a test - and it is not because of doing this test or doing a good job in this test that I am one day going to be racing in Formula 1," he told Autosport.
"If I am here, it is because Red Bull has chosen for me to try to do a test. But this test does not mean anything.
"The only thing I hope is that they are happy with my performance and I am mature enough to do more testing, because of course after doing one test you need to do more. You always want more and more."
Asked to judge his own performance, he said: "I think it is more for you, and the Toro Rosso guys, to judge my position," he said. "It is not up to me.
"You always prefer to see yourself P2 than P9, but for me maybe it was two seconds off the pace. I am not sure. It is difficult to judge, as there are so many factors that can affect it: engine mixtures, or downforce.
"This car can be eight seconds faster or eight seconds slower - there is such a big range of fuel loads. I leave it up to you guys, because I don't want to think about how good I've done until they tell me."
Despite his measured take on his own performance, Sainz could not hide his excitement at having gotten behind the wheel of a F1 car.
"It is completely unbelievable, the feeling this day," he said. "If there is a track where you are going to get the feeling of an F1 car, or the potential of an F1 car, it is here at Silverstone.
"For me, this day has been the best day of my life. It is a dream come true. It is very important for me and, after jumping out of the car I wanted to thank every single mechanic and every single engineer - they have been part of the most important and happy day of my life."
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