Frustrating day for Toro Rosso at Shanghai
It was a difficult and frustrating day at Shanghai for the Scuderia Toro Rosso. Jaime Alguersuari was forced to retire as he lost a wheel right after a pit stop. Team mate Sebastien Buemi finished the race in 14th position, but was left frustrated not to score any points.
“Not the result we were expecting so I am a bit disappointed and frustrated that I failed to score points, having started from a points position. I don’t really know what happened at the start, as I had a poor start even though from my point of view I think I did everything right, so I would like to see the data, because I had a lot of wheelspin. After that, I got passed by Heidfeld and then, at a certain point, I started to feel a lot of understeer, to the point where it was getting very difficult to drive the car, so we decided to change the front wing. That meant an extra pit stop and from then on my race was compromised. We could have done a lot better without that, but this is how it ended and all we can do now is see how we can make a step forward for Turkey.”
“From quite early on I was struggling with grip from the rear tyres, so we decided to come in earlier than planned for the first stop to try and fight back for the ground lost at the start. Then, immediately after leaving the pits, I felt the car was very unstable and then I lost a wheel nut and the wheel came off, so there was nothing I could do. After my best qualifying position I was hoping for better even if we knew we would be using quite worn tyres after qualifying, so we had started on my worst set of tyres to try and have an edge later in the race, but it was not to be.”
Laurent Mekies, Chief Engineer: “Neither car got a great start, losing us the benefit of our strong qualifying performance. After that, we brought Jaime in fairly early to have him running a three stop strategy. But we had to retire the car soon after the pit stop as we lost a wheel. At the moment, we are examining the exact cause of this incident. Sebastien came in for his first tyre change a few laps later when we discovered that he had some front wing damage, so we called him in again to change the nose as he could not continue like that. From then on, he drove a strong race on a two stop strategy, which was our only chance to get us back in the rhythm of the race after the time lost just 15 laps after the start. He drove well, racing the Williams, getting Maldonaldo and finishing right on Barrichello’s gearbox.”