Sainz feels ‘homecoming’ in the wet

In the roundup: Carlos Sainz Jnr says he feels he’s got his groove back in wet conditions after Friday’s rainy practice at Suzuka.

In short

Sainz ‘feels home’ in the wet after missing pace in Singapore

Having struggled to match teammate Charles Leclerc in the wet Singapore Grand Prix last weekend, Sainz was encouraged by his performance in practice yesterday.

Sainz finished third last weekend after struggling to keep pace with Leclerc and winner Sergio Perez throughout the race. After Friday’s two practice sessions at Suzuka, Sainz says he feels more confident in the tough conditions compared to the previous weekend.

“It was important for me after a tough race in Singapore in these conditions to try and get the upper hand of the car today in these wet conditions and see if I could get my rhythm back,” said Sainz. “We managed to do it – I was quick and felt at home again.

“For sure there will be trade-offs. That threat of rain on Sunday certainly looks likely, so there will be a few things to think twice about in tomorrow’s qualifying. So I think it’s going to be a interesting weekend ahead.

Bottas “happy to help” Zhou

Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas said his rookie teammate Zhou Guanyu regularly approached him to ask questions or seek advice on driving-related matters.

Zhou is the only rookie on the 2022 grid and will remain with Alfa Romeo alongside Bottas for 2023. The pair have established a strong working relationship during their first season together and Bottas says his young teammate will often come to him for advice.

“Once in a while he asks me questions directly and obviously I’m more than happy to help,” Bottas said. “He’s improved a lot this year anyway and he’s also learned just by looking at the data and so on. But if he has questions he always asks them, so that’s good.

Pirelli confirms its compounds for the North American rounds

Pirelli have confirmed the three tire compounds they will bring to the next two rounds after this weekend’s race at Suzuka.

For both races at Circuit of the Americas in Austin and Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Pirelli will be using its mid-range C2, C3 and C4 compounds. This is the same selection of compounds used on circuits such as the Hungaroring, Spa and Monza.

Pirelli says this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix will be the last race where the C1 compound – the toughest in its range – will be used.

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