Jean-Eric Vergne scored the only point for Toro Rosso at the United States Grand Prix, recovering from a disappointing qualifying result. Daniil Kvyat fell victim to two penalties and eventually finished down in 15th place.
Jean-Eric Vergne, STR9-01, 10th: “It was an exciting race, but difficult at the same time. In the final stages I absolutely wanted to gain positions. I saw the opportunity to overtake Romain (Grosjean) and I decided to go for it. When he closed the door it was just too late. At the end, this is racing and you have to fight as much as you can. I like fighting, so it was good fun. It’s great to be in the points, especially after a difficult weekend, with not much running. We have the car to do well and I’m happy that we do not have to wait too much before being back in the car next week in Brazil, where hopefully we’ll be able score more points.”
Daniil Kvyat, STR9-03, 15th: “We were competitive today and we deserved to score some points here in Austin. We had a fantastic pace until the last part of the Grand Prix when I managed to overtake Raikkonen, but unfortunately I damaged my front left tyre during the fight. I had too many vibrations and I had to pit again. It could have been a fantastic race and it's obviously disappointing when towards the end everything goes wrong. We couldn't have done anything better, but sometimes that's how it goes. I’m looking forward to Brazil, where hopefully we can achieve a better result.”
Franz Tost, Team Principal: “Here in Austin the race weekend started very well on Friday in FP1, with Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen finishing respectively in 4th and 10th position. Unfortunately the trend changed on Saturday for qualifying, when we suffered from a lack of performance, which we will have to investigate. In addition, we had a 10 grid position penalty with Daniil, for a change to the 7th Power Unit, which meant we had to start the race from the back of the grid. Both drivers had a reasonably good start, especially Jean-Eric who moved up to twelfth place. During the safety car period he was found to have been over the speed limit, getting a 5 seconds penalty, followed by another penalty of the same kind for his move in overtaking Grosjean. This meant we scored just one point for his 10th position at the end of the race. As for Daniil, his pace was really good and his strategy worked quite well. Unfortunately in overtaking Raikkonen, he damaged his front left tyre and he had to pit again, otherwise I reckon he could have finished higher in the ranking, possibly in 7th or 8th position. Nevertheless, the team showed quite a good performance and I hope we’ll be able to benefit from this positive aspect even more in the next two races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, to bring home some very important points.”
Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “Jean-Eric recovered from a disappointing qualifying session to produce another wonderful race performance and pick up one more point for the team. It was a combination of good tyre management and knowing when to attack. The Power Unit also ran without any problems, so all in all it’s been a very satisfactory day on that side of the garage. Things went less smoothly for Daniil who, as well as getting debris caught in his front wing, had an Energy Store sensor issue with his car’s battery. That meant the default mode wasn’t working correctly, which reduces the amount of energy available. He was handicapped a bit today.”