Carlos Sainz imposed himself as the leader of the midfield today, in spite of having Grosjean's Haas glued to his competitive laptime. Hence, the fight for the 'best of the rest' spot is going to be grueling.
"It’s been a good Friday for the team. A circuit with less straights and more low-speed corners makes our car looks better in this type of conditions. The midfield is very tight, we have all of them two tenths behind, which means that tomorrow we still need to get it right to be ahead of them."
Sainz got real about his race pace, stating that Renault's strength is one the single-lap performance. He also conceded that the struggle is deriving from tyres, particularly the softest compound offered by Pirelli at Singapore, the HyperSoft. "At the moment our one-lap pace looks a lot better than our long run, as always, I’m afraid. We tend to degrade a lot more that the other on the HyperSoft tyre, so we need to do some homework to make sure that tomorrow we keep it alive, for Sunday especially.""
The Spaniard posesses a very special relationship with street circuits, as their characteristics feed his hunger for challenges. Last year he felt comfortable here from the very beginning and jaw-droppingly crossed the line in fourth. "With Renault I am feeling again comfortable with the car, hopefully we can keep the same form for tomorrow but the top 6 look a bit too far away from us...I’ve always liked this track, Monaco as well. I like getting close to walls, feeling the car a bit more nervous and I like pushing it."
As for qualifying and the race, the target remains the same: "Hopefully I can be the best of the rest tomorrow. It is not going to be easy, the rest are very close to us, probably too close than what we would like, but I am looking forward to tomorrow, especially due to the fact that I have been very comfortable with the car so far. We managed to do it with track evolution and to keep the car in a happy window. Hopefully we will have a strong Saturday.”