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Sainz "excited" about starting Turkey F1 race with new engine

Carlos Sainz admits he is "excited" about starting Sunday's Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix from last as he takes on a completely new Ferrari power unit.

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari, in the post Qualifying Press Conference

FIA Pool

Sainz is taking the latest power unit spec that was given its debut by team-mate Charles Leclerc at the Russian GP, and will be demoted to the back of the grid as he exceeds his yearly allocation.

The Spaniard says that focussing on the race without the need to worry about one lap pace in qualifying will potentially provide longer term benefits.

“It's gonna sound weird, but I'm actually excited about it,” he said when asked by Autosport.

“It changes the whole weekend quite a lot, because you are probably not taking part in qualy.

“So all of a sudden my approach switches to the race, and it's actually both my weak point and the weak point of the car at the moment, the race management and the tyre management.

“So I'm going to have the opportunity to have FP1, FP2 and FP3 to try all the different compounds and try and improve my tyre management and my understanding of the car in race conditions to try and make a step.

“And maybe the step if I discover something this weekend can help me until the end of the year. So I'm going to use it as a test weekend.

“And on top of that, at the start, you have nothing to lose, you're already last.

"And I have a pretty good record of coming from the back in all my top fives and podiums. So I actually always enjoy it because there's nothing to lose.”

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Making only a token effort in qualifying will also give Sainz fresh soft tyres for race day, which could give him more strategic options.

“That gives you a bit more window of opportunity for Sunday, bearing in mind that you're starting last. You would rather have less opportunities and start fifth than start last," he said of his strategy options.

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“But it's a good chance, and it's always worked well for me in the past starting further back. So I’m just going to stay true to the way I've done it before, and I'll see if I can make it back through the field.”

Sainz will also have the benefit of Ferrari’s latest power unit, which he believes will give him an extra boost as he tries to make up ground.

“Obviously I'm also excited about the power unit, it's not only about starting last.

"It's a new power unit and I welcome all the development and all the effort that has been made to bring this forward these few races to try it this year. It looked promising in Sochi on Charles's side, so to be honest, I'm excited about it.

“So every month that we can anticipate these things, every month that we can go back to the dyno and keep chipping away at it, because as you guys have seen we have a deficit in power still, a decent deficit that we are trying to correct, and hopefully this engine will help me to go through the field a bit easier than with the older one.”

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