Scuderia Toro Rosso achieved a great result at the Malaysian Grand Prix with its young drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz finishing troublefree in 7th and 8th place to both score points.
Max Verstappen, STR10-03, Car 33, 7th: “I really enjoyed that! I’m very happy to have scored my first ever points in F1 and to end seventh! I think we did a great job as a team. The first few laps were a bit tricky for me as I was struggling a lot on the Medium tyres, so we boxed early for the Hard ones and that worked perfectly, the car felt great. We had a few good fights with other competitors and it was good fun. This was the right strategy and we did a great job managing the tyres. I felt well physically, it was quite hot at the end but I was still able to cope with it and be consistent, so I’m happy with that. This is a big boost for the team, we couldn’t have done a better job today.”
Carlos Sainz, STR10-04, Car 55, 8th: “It was a mega day for me today! A two-stop strategy at a track like Sepang was never going to be easy, but it worked out well in the end and it’s definitely made me forget yesterday’s result in qualifying. Starting from P15 and making it to P8 is amazing! There was a lot happening around me throughout the whole race, so it was very easy to lock-up, make mistakes or lose positions, but I kept calm and in the end it paid off. The conditions have been very tough here in Malaysia, much more than in Australia obviously, but we prepared well for it and I had no problems. Such a result gives us great confidence and motivation to keep up the good work. The team is doing an excellent job and to finish with both cars in the points is a great way to end the weekend.”
Franz Tost, Team Principal: “To finish in seventh and eighth positions today here in Malaysia was a big success for the team as well as for the drivers because if both Ferrari’s, Mercedes’ and Williams’ don’t have any problems, this is the best position which we can achieve. Therefore, the team showed a very good race performance, of which I’m very proud. We were fast in yesterday’s qualifying session but this was no surprise. Max ended up in an excellent sixth position and I think that also Carlos could have been in the top ten as he certainly had the speed, which he also showed in today’s race. Both drivers did a reasonable start. Max had some problems during the first laps, where he was blocked by some traffic, but later on, after the safety car, he was able to overtake his rivals and put on a good show. Carlos had a great start as he gained lots of positions after starting from 15th position. He was also the only driver a part from Sebastian Vettel to go for a two-stop strategy and he really looked after the tyres well and drove a fantastic race. I’d like to congratulate the whole team as well as to Scuderia Ferrari and Sebastian, who won the race here today. This great result now gives us a big boost and we look forward to the next race in China in two weeks’ time.”
Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “We are clearly delighted with the results today. After the disappointment of Melbourne, everyone at the factory worked very hard. We made a step forward in driveability and performance and right from the start of the weekend the drivers reported a big improvement in both areas. We’re pleased both contributed to the double points’ finish today. The package has a lot of potential as Max’ qualifying and the drivers’ pace during the race showed so it’s renewed our confidence. A great result for the team.”