Toro Rosso Suffer Difficult Chinese Grand Prix


After an excellent showing in qualifying yesterday, Toro Rosso were brought back down to earth with a bump after a poor start, an early retirement for Jaime Alguersuari, and a difficult race for Sebastien Buemi which ultimately ended with him bringing his STR6 home a lowly fourteenth.

“Not the result we were expecting so I am a bit disappointed and frustrated that I failed to score points, having started from a points position,” Buemi said, looking back over his race. “I don't really know what happened at the start, as I had a poor start even though from my point of view I think I did everything right, so I would like to see the data, because I had a lot of wheelspin.

“After that, I got passed by Heidfeld and then, at a certain point, I started to feel a lot of understeer, to the point where it was getting very difficult to drive the car, so we decided to change the front wing. That meant an extra pit stop and from then on my race was compromised. We could have done a lot better without that, but this is how it ended and all we can do now is see how we can make a step forward for Turkey.”

Alguersuari also experienced a poor start and loose wheel ended his race with just nine laps completed. “From quite early on I was struggling with grip from the rear tyres, so we decided to come in earlier than planned for the first stop to try and fight back for the ground lost at the start,” explained the Spaniard. “Then, immediately after leaving the pits, I felt the car was very unstable and then I lost a wheel nut and the wheel came off, so there was nothing I could do.

“After my best qualifying position I was hoping for better even if we knew we would be using quite worn tyres after qualifying, so we had started on my worst set of tyres to try and have an edge later in the race, but it was not to be.”

Chief engineer Laurent Mekies says that the team are still unsure of the exact reason for Algueruari’s lost wheel, and explains why Buemi had such a poor start to his afternoon:

“Sebastien came in for his first tyre change a few laps [after Alguersuari’s incident] when we discovered that he had some front wing damage, so we called him in again to change the nose as he could not continue  like that,” said Mekies. “From then on, he drove a strong race on a two stop strategy, which was our only chance to get us back in the rhythm of the race after the time lost just 15 laps after the start. He drove well, racing the Williams, getting Maldonaldo and finishing right on Barrichello's gearbox.