Outright lack of pace for Toro Rosso

F1 Grand Prix, GP China, Shanghai International Ciruitcn

While both Toro Rosso drivers can say they had a difficult afternoon, the problems were more down to the car than their own capabilities. They had particularly difficult first parts of the race and in the end simply lacked pace to have a real impact on the race.

Jean-Eric Vergne, STR7-03, 16th:
“We decided to change some elements on the car that had not worked well up to qualifying, which is why I started from pit lane, so my set-up for the race was more similar to what we had in Melbourne and Sepang. I did not have high hopes of doing much, starting from the back, but the important thing was to see how the car performed. It was pretty good, so I expect we will start with it like that in Bahrain and hopefully be able to have a better race result. Today’s race had some enjoyable moments as I passed a few cars, but it was a bit short for me, as a few more laps and I think I could have got ahead of the two guys in front of me.

Daniel Ricciardo, STR7-01, 17th:
“My start off the line was okay, but I got a bit squeezed around the outside at Turn 1 and lost what I had gained earlier. Then, on the same lap, I went round some debris on the track at Turn 6 and lost another place. In fact, my whole first stint was not very good and we were struggling to overtake. In the second stint, it went slightly better and the last one better still, but the pace today was not good enough to deliver anything better.”

Franz Tost, Team principal:
“As Jean-Eric did not have a particularly good qualifying, we decided to make changes to his car set-up and configuration under Parc Ferme rules, which of course involved having to start from the pit lane. Today, tyres were the key factor for everyone and we saw that aspect produce some dramatic racing. In our case, we opted to put our two drivers on different strategies, Daniel using three sets and Jean-Eric four. However, we have been lacking pace since the start of the weekend and therefore did not make much progress up the order, with the two cars finishing 16th and 17th. Having run the two cars in different configurations to one another today, we will now analyse carefully the cable data to work on producing the best possible set-up for next weekend’s race in Bahrain, where I believe we will be capable of getting a better result.”