Following a strong qualifying performance, Daniel Ricciardo went on to finish 7th on today's Chinese Grand Prix. He therefore added 6 points to Toro Rosso's tally and takes his own first points of the season. Jean-Eric Vergne ended 12th despite having incurred car damage by a collision.
Daniel Ricciardo, STR8-01, 7th: “I am really pleased to score my first points of the season and to confirm the qualifying performance. After yesterday afternoon I kept calm, knowing the real work would begin today. The last time I qualified this well was sixth in Bahrain last year and then I failed to score, so today, I really wanted to show people what I could do, so it’s great for me to have had a great race but it’s especially good for the team, who have worked so hard for this. Of course, the early pit stop to change the nose affected our plans and towards the end, Massa’s Ferrari was looking bigger and bigger ahead of me! So yes, maybe I could have done even better, but for now I’ll settle for this seventh place. From the start of the season, we have had many changes in terms of personnel and it takes a while for that to gel and this weekend, it felt like everything clicked into place, after the first two race weekends were a bit up and down, but now I expect us to continue getting stronger from here on.”
Jean-Eric Vergne, STR8-03, 12th: “I think Mark could not have got through from where he tried and I’m not even sure if he was trying to pass me. Certainly I didn’t even know he was there. Unfortunately, the impact put me into a spin and the incident damaged my floor. From then I lost a lot of downforce. It was not a good race from then on, having lost a lot of time and having to drive a damaged car. It’s not been a good weekend, as I did not have a smooth time of it from the start. However, as I said yesterday, the pace of the car has improved in the break since Malaysia, as could be seen from what Daniel was able to do today. Therefore I am now looking forward to Bahrain with a positive outlook.”
Franz Tost, Team Principal: “It was a very interesting race which saw Daniel Ricciardo start from seventh and take the chequered flag in the same position. This encouraging result was built on his good performance in yesterday’s qualifying. Unfortunately, on lap 4, Daniel was involved in a collision with Rosberg and he had to pit earlier than planned as there was damage to the left front wing end plate. The pit crew did a good job, changing the nose and tyres in 7.2 seconds, which is quite quick. From then on, he produced a very good race, with plenty of overtaking manoeuvres. It was unfortunate that Jean-Eric Vergne was involved in an early collision with Webber’s Red Bull, especially as it’s a particular shame when this happens within the Red Bull “family.” All weekend long, the car performed well, with the upgrades we brought here delivering the results we had hoped for and the team also did a good job. Today’s points mean we move up to seventh in the Constructors’ classification, 7 points behind the sixth placed team. Now there are just a few days until we race again in Bahrain and the plan is to keep this momentum going so that we can bring home more points before starting the European part of the season.”