Toro Rosso’s pre-season testing form in Barcelona, where the team’s new STR11 was put through its paces by Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen, has prompted Red Bull boss Christian Horner to predict that the junior squad may well have the upper hand over its senior outfit.
But Carlos Sainz, while admitting the potential speed of his new Ferrari-powered mount looks promising, has tempered down Horner’s claims.
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“I cannot disagree with my boss but I can be a bit more calm and moderate than him,” Sainz said.
“Red Bull last year were six-tenths in front of us, and the Ferrari engine should give us those six-tenths.
“But Red Bull in the winter should do a massive step compared to Toro Rosso due to budget so they should still be in front in my opinion.
“They have a much bigger budget and a Renault power unit which will be developed over the year. I expect them to be in front.”
Nevertheless, Sainz left Barcelona feeling resolutely positive about the STR11’s promising performance level and reliability.
“More than lap times and raw pace I liked the confidence the car was giving me, this is what I take to Melbourne.
“On all the days there were no mistakes, not one single lock-up, everything went really smooth and the most important thing is I have a lot of confidence which hopefully we can translate in Melbourne.”
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