Carlos Sainz says that he was very surprised with the lack of pace his former team Toro Rosso showed in Melbourne a fortnight ago. The Red Bull junior squad looked to have positive pace after pre-season testing, and even looked impressive during the free practice sessions at the Australian Grand Prix.
However, during the race, the squad failed to get close to the points, with Pierre Gasly retiring with an engine problem and Brendon Hartley finishing as the only driver a lap down. Sainz has admitted his surprise at the result, saying the team performed a lot worse than he thought it would.
"They (Toro Rosso) were very good in Barcelona, so for me the strange one was Australia. They were worse than expected. In Barcelona we had them together with us and McLaren, and they have a lot of top speed here which is something that surprises me."
Sainz is currently on loan at the Renault works team from Red Bull. With the Spaniard linked to the Red Bull seat for 2019, he has praised the car, stating that equal engines would show how impressive the chassis of the RB14 is.
"It is basically still the same team as when it won four world championships in a row," said Sainz. "The other Renault teams are trying to get closer to them, but we know that if you put a Renault engine in every car on the grid, the best would be Red Bull."