With a 10-place grid penalty and an engine failure, Carlos Sainz concedes Friday was not the birthday that he wished for.
The Spaniard, 23 on Friday, learned the day prior to his birthday that he would be facing a 10-place grid penalty at Monza after Renault were forced to change the power unit in his Toro Rosso.
Determined to make the best of the weekend despite the penalty Sainz was running inside the top ten for much of Friday’s second practice but dropped to 11th when his engine failed.
He pulled over onto the side of the track with plumes of smoke pouring from the back of his STR and conceded that it wasn’t his day.
“Not the birthday I wished for!” he said.
“I knew since yesterday that we were going to get a grid penalty for changing part of the Power Unit, so that wasn’t a surprise, but today’s PU issue is definitely not something we welcome!
“This didn’t allow us to complete our programme and we know that we’re up for a very difficult weekend here in Monza.
“We will of course keep our chin up and keep pushing – I have to say I’m feeling good in the car, it’s very light as we are running very low downforce to try and compensate our engine deficit…
“It’s tricky out there, but at least I’m enjoying it and hopefully we can extract the maximum out of the car tomorrow and on Sunday.”