Carlos Sainz says he is worried Toro Rosso has suddenly become the F1 backmarker.
The junior Red Bull team expected a hard weekend at Spa, but Spaniard Sainz said Toro Rosso is really “struggling” with its 2015-spec Ferrari engine.
“It will not be like Hungary and Silverstone, getting in Q3, instead we try to avoid that Manor or Sauber are ahead, as they seem to be right now,” he told the Spanish daily marca.
“And Haas is now a good step ahead,” Sainz added. “The gap is too big.”
Meanwhile, Sainz was one of several drivers who tested the Halo device on Friday, and he said afterwards: “It’s obviously a strange feeling at first, but it does not impede visibility and by the end of the lap you forget you’ve got it.
“I think getting in and out of the car is the difficult part, but that’s for the FIA to continue analysing and improving,” he added.
“The only concern I had was visibility and this was not a problem, even in Eau Rouge.”
Sainz, who has reached Q3 three times already this season, was unable to make it into the top ten yesterday qualifying. Team mate Daniil Kvyat was eliminated in Q1. Sainz and Kvyat will start today race from 14th and 19th respectively.