After the disappointments of qualifying, Toro Rosso came away from the Korean grand Prix happy. Both cars finished in the points for the first time since Spa, with Jean-Eric Vergne finishing eighth and Daniel Ricciardo ninth.
It was a particularly strong race for Australian Ricciardo who recovered from a gearbox penalty to finish strongly from twenty first on the grid. Despite battling a brake issue in the last few laps of the race, he was able to finish ahead of the similarly ailing McLaren of Lewis Hamilton.
“I got a good start and made up a couple of positions on the opening lap. After that, I got into a really good rhythm and was able to pick off cars ahead of me one by one. JEV was in front and as he got past a car, I was able to follow him through. The second stint also saw us jump a few cars, getting ahead of Schumacher and Force India. Then my last stint on the Prime was my best until, with about ten laps to go, I found myself going straight on at Turn 3 and at first I thought it must have been a suspension failure because the car suddenly shot to the left and I could not stop it. However, I realised I could keep going, even if every time I braked the car pulled to the left and I was locking the front a lot,” he explained afterwards.
“Unfortunately, that cost me eighth place, but at least I was able to give it up to my team-mate. I’m still grateful to be in the points with such a problem, although it’s a case of mixed emotions, as it would have been my best result of the season. But for the team overall, it’s been a very good day.”
Vergne, who had at one stage run ahead of his team mate, was also happy to claim his first points since Belgium.
“I am really really happy, as this was definitely my best race of the year and the car worked well with very little tyre degradation on both the Prime and the Option. I did not take too many risks at the start and I had a nice fight with Perez in the early stages and then with Di Resta and also Hamilton. Dan and I were on different strategies and both seemed to be effective. Towards the end, I was told that my team-mate had a problem, but overall for the team, to get eighth and ninth with Daniel also driving a great race is a fantastic result,” he said.
“Everyone in the team worked very hard on improving the car throughout the weekend. In general, we seem to be making progress and this track seemed to suit us well, which I think we can also expect to be the case in India. The best part of the race? Seeing the chequered flag in the points!”
“This afternoon both drivers were able to show the true performance level of the car, combined with a good strategy – both drivers on a two stop, with Daniel starting on the Option and Jean-Eric on the Prime,” Franz Tost added.
“Now we can look forward to continuing this positive trend in India in a fortnight.”