I was more aggressive in 2017 - Sainz Jr.
11 December 2017 – Carlos Sainz Jr. says he adopted a more aggressive stance in Formula 1 in 2017, in order to underline his credentials, ultimately resulting in his switch to Renault.
Sainz Jr. scored points in nine of his 16 Grands Prix with Toro Rosso, including fourth in Singapore and sixth in Monaco, spearheading the midfield charge on both occasions.
However, Sainz Jr. also retired six times, half of them via incidents or spins, receiving grid penalties for triggering clashes in Bahrain and Canada.
Sainz Jr., though, believes his decision to take such an approach has "paid off", after securing ninth position in the Drivers' Championship.
"Definitely this year I've been more aggressive," Sainz Jr. explained.
"I needed to be more aggressive to get points, especially as we were not qualifying in the top 10 in Toro Rosso this year, so you had to be a lot more aggressive on Sundays.
"That might have meant I got a couple more retirements than maybe I have wanted, maybe a couple more retirements than in the previous seasons, but I think it's paid off.
"If you look now at the championship standings, and my points, with the opportunities I've had, I think it's been a very positive year."
Sainz Jr. added that securing his move to Renault for 2018, which came four events earlier than anticipated, further justified his approach to racing this season.
"I always said I'll do my thing and I'll do it depending on my situation," he said.
"If in 2015 I was risking a bit less it's because I wanted to learn, I wanted to do all the races, I was having a lot of retirements and I wanted to finish races.
"If in 2016 I was still a bit conservative it was because I had a reason to do it and if in 2017 I [was] more aggressive it's because I had a reason to do it.
"I wanted 2017 to be a special year, to take my opportunities and to make this chance where I am now in Renault to happen.
"I knew that to be in Renault at the end of the year I needed to do some special things to shine a bit more, to risk a bit more.
"To get into the top 10 starting from 11th or 12th [on the grid], I knew I had to risk more."