“As you can see I am fine,” said the Spaniard, who is keen to race on Sunday if FIA medics pass him fit. “My back and my neck are just a bit sore from the accident, but I’m totally ready. Hopefully tomorrow I will wake up in a good shape and maybe I can try and race - this is definitely the intention!"
Sainz lost control of his car midway through FP3 on the high-speed approach to Turn 13. The rear appeared to get away from him under braking and he hit the left-hand wall before impacting - and submarining under - the T13 barriers.
Medical crews were quickly on the scene, and found Sainz to be conscious, talking and trying to remove his helmet. Extracting him took some time due to the position of the car, but he then gave a thumbs-up to fans as he was stretchered to the medical centre, before being airlifted to hospital where a full body scan confirmed he was unhurt.
“As soon as the accident happened I tried to talk to the team on the radio, but it wasn’t working and those must have been some scary moments…” said Sainz. “I’d like to thank everyone for their support, it’s really nice to receive all your messages at a moment like this one! I hope to see you all tomorrow out there!”
Toro Rosso are still finalising the details of their investigation into the accident, but thus far have no significant findings to report.
Clarifying what had happened just prior to Sainz crashing, team principal Franz Tost said: “Carlos had completed a long-run on the option tyre, before changing to the prime to do two further laps. On primes the grip level is lower.
“In addition he had changed the brake shape on the steering wheel, which meant he had more braking rearwards. A combination of these two factors might have been the cause of the rears locking, which made the car uncontrollable.”
Sainz is expected to undergo routine FIA medical tests in Sochi on Sunday morning. These will determine whether he is allowed to compete in the 2015 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix. Should he do so, he will start from the pit lane, having failed to participate in qualifying.