Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spanish Grand Prix review - Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo: I had a really poor start off the line, with a lot of wheelspin and, to be honest, the first few laps of the race I really struggled with front grip and locking the front brakes. I tried to be patient and eventually it improved and I could see the cars ahead of me were not pulling away so much. It was disappointing to lose ground like that, but the pace itself was not too bad. At the first stop, we made quite a few changes in terms of wing settings and tyre pressures and that helped, so the next two stints were quite good and I made a few passing moves, so it was certainly not a boring race. But then, towards the end of the race, our pace began to fade again. It wasn’t easy to get tenth, even if we looked on course to get more than the one point earlier in the race, so it’s better than nothing.

Jean-Eric Vergne: After a good start, I then had a lot of understeer and we had to keep adding a lot of wing at each pit stop, which didn’t really help. The strategy we adopted was the right one and even with a damaged floor and wing I was able to do good lap times. Yet again I was unlucky and I hope that stops soon, because as I was coming into the pits, Sauber did an unsafe release with Hulkenberg who drove into me and then I had a problem with a tyre, so it was one problem after another today. I plan to have a better weekend in Monaco in two weeks time. I haven’t lost hope for the future, given the performance we had shown earlier in the weekend and it’s just such a shame as that good pace should have allowed us to score points today.

Franz Tost: As expected, this race featured a lot of pit stops because of high tyre degradation, so we knew that three or four stops was the most likely strategy and in the end, most cars did four. We had planned for three tyre changes but switched to four as the race evolved. Unfortunately, Jev’s race was ruined by the contact in pit lane with Hulkenberg’s Sauber. He had to return to the pits on lap 38 when it was clear he had a damaged tyre and then in the closing stages, we could see from the data that the damage to the rear of the car was getting worse and we called him in to retire in the pits. This incident had a serious knock-on effect for our other car, as we had to keep Daniel out for one more lap before a pit stop while dealing with Jev and, as his tyres were well worn at this stage it cost him a significant amount of lap time. Nevertheless, he managed to fight off Gutierrez in the closing stages to pick up a point for tenth place. Without that earlier problem, we should have been much closer to the McLarens with a possible chance of attacking them in the final part of the race. We must take heart from the improvement in performance terms that we saw on Friday and Saturday and work to get more out of the updates that delivered this step forward.

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