Sainz suffered one of the biggest crashes of his career in his first Russian Grand Prix appearance in 2015, slamming into the barrier at 200 mph. The Spaniard was required to take a trip to hospital for a check-up before being declared fit to race, although he ultimately retired due to a brake issue.
“I always get asked about my 2015 crash when we get to Russia, but I have to say that what I was most impressed with that weekend was the support of the fans and the whole paddock," Sainz said.
"I remember posting a photo from the hospital to say that I was okay and I received so many good wishes, it was amazing to see how F1 comes together when these things happen. We're a big family and people really care about each other."
Sainz returned in 2016, only for an issue on his car to leave him off the pace, which combined with a time penalty for forcing Jolyon Palmer off-track forced him to settle for P12 at the flag.
Now set for his third bite at the cherry in Sochi, Sainz is hopeful that his poor run of luck can finally end and result in a maiden top-10 finish in Russia.
“I think Russia owes me one, particularly after that 2015 race where we did a massive comeback, starting from the very back and climbing up to P6 before having to retire," Sainz said.
"And last year I was just unlucky to get a piece of wing stuck in my radiator! So yes, points are on my list of objectives this time in Russia.
“The most special thing about the track is Turn 3, a very long corner which is tough for the neck and enjoyable to drive.�
Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst