The Bahrain Grand Prix didn't turn out to be a success for Toro Rosso, as the team faced serious problems with its cars. Ricciardo found himself struggling throughout the race because of that, while Vergne was unlucky early on and had to abandon the race.
Daniel Ricciardo, STR8-01, 16th: “I got a reasonable start, better than some of the guys around me and I got ahead of Grosjean. Then at some point, I locked up the wheels and lost a position or two. All afternoon, we just struggled with speed: in the first stint, tyre warm-up was a problem and I was losing a lot of time on braking. We never really recovered, even though we tried to make a few changes to the balance of the car at the pit stops. We must look into what exactly was wrong with the car as we were really limited in terms of downforce.”
Jean-Eric Vergne, STR8-03, DNF: “I was pushed by Bottas as I passed him on the outside of Turn 4, giving him plenty of room and he clipped my car. Unfortunately for Van de Garde, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and it was a big impact, which caused a lot of damage to the car, including a puncture and left it with a big piece of the floor missing. After I pitted, I tried to carry on to see how the car felt, but in the end, I was a lap down, I’d lost plenty of aero and the team could see that the damage was causing the car to overheat to an unsafe level, so they called me in to retire. This opening sequence of races has not gone too well for me and I really hope that the beginning of the European part of the season will be like a new start for me.”
Franz Tost, Team principal: “Our race pace with Daniel is currently a mystery, as the car obviously and unexpectedly lacked performance today. Daniel did everything he could and we also tried to make some changes during the pit stops, but that did not work. As soon as we can, we will have a look at the car, because we assume there is some fairly significant problem with it, which will be the obvious cause of our poor performance today. As for Jean-Eric, he was unlucky to be pushed into the path of a Caterham by a Williams. Once we assessed the car was still roadworthy when he came into the pits for repairs, we sent him out again. However, after a while it became clear the damage to the floor and other components was allowing the car to overheat to an unacceptable level. There was no point in him doing further damage, so we took the decision to call him in and retire him in the pits.”