Toro Rosso was unable to score points in Singapore as Jean-Eric Vergne finished 14th. Team mate Daniel Ricciardo crashed 22 laps into the race in what he says was entirely his own error.
Jean-Eric Vergne, STR8-03, 14th: “My start was not the best and, in an effort to compensate for that, we switched from a two stop to a three stop strategy and I believe it could have paid off in terms of getting me back into the points. However, I then found I was having a lot of trouble just keeping the car on track and my tyres were completely worn out at the end, by which time, I had already been told to back off as the car was overheating. This is always a long, tough race and it felt particularly long for me, as I had no one to fight against in the closing stages, apart from working to keep the car away from the barriers. I always try to look on the positive side and in that respect, the updates we brought here seemed to work and we have learned a lot about the car. Therefore I still believe we can have a strong end to the season, starting in Korea, where I expect the car to work very well.”
Daniel Ricciardo, STR8-01, DNF: “The crash was my error, trying to make up for lost ground. At the start, my car just seemed to sit there without moving off the line. It was very frustrating to lose so many places right away. I think I went down five places from ninth on the grid to fourteenth. So I was on the back foot from then on, just trying to do the best I could. In the second stint, my engineer came on the radio and said ‘the pace is good, keep pushing.’ I was aware that for the pace we had, we were not doing too badly and maybe at the end I was just trying to get too much out of it and made that mistake. It’s a delicate corner with not much run-off and I went too deep into the apex. I then braked a bit harder, locked a wheel and went into the wall. It’s not a mistake I’m used to making. I will learn from this.”
Franz Tost, Team Principal: “A very disappointing evening for us, especially after we had produced a good qualifying performance yesterday. Unfortunately, the benefit of our grid positions was cancelled out immediately, as both drivers got poor starts, with Daniel dropping five places and Jean-Eric three. Daniel’s race then ended prematurely with an uncharacteristic mistake which put him in the barriers. With overtaking being so difficult here, we decided to switch Vergne from a two stop to a three stop strategy, as he was so far back. After that, he looked in reasonable shape and we had saved a new set of Options for the final stint, believing this would help him catch the cars ahead, that had tried to go for a long stint. However, his car suffered from overheating and we had to turn down his power, which meant he could not pass those ahead of him. This weekend, we didn’t make the most of our opportunities and we will be working hard to put that right in a fortnight in Korea, where the Yeongam circuit should suit us better.”