After failing to score a point last time out in India, Toro Rosso continued to struggle in Abu Dhabi. Jean-Eric Vergne once again failed to make it out of Q1 and will start in eighteenth place, whilst team mate Daniel Ricciardo will start a place ahead in seventeenth.
It was not the performance the two youngsters had wanted, days after being confirmed as Toro Rosso drivers for 2013.
“So far, it’s been a harder weekend for us than we had expected. We definitely made progress today, compared to where we were on Friday, which is positive, but in the end it was not enough to move us higher up the grid. Everything went smoothly on my side of the garage, apart from losing a lap on the Prime, when my headrest was moving and I had to come in to have it fixed,” Ricciardo said.
“I think this motivated me to then do two really good laps and the pace on the Option was okay, showing we had made progress again, not just from yesterday, but also from this morning. However, we are not where we want to be. Strategy will be a key to having a good race tomorrow and like in India a one stop could be possible for some cars.”
Vergne was left disappointed by his performance. He had switched to the option tyres in the dying moments of Q1 in an attempt to make it into Q2, but spun away his advantage on the penultimate corner. Badly flat spotted tyres meant he failed to improve on his next lap and will line up for tomorrow’s race in eighteenth place.
“It’s quite frustrating to fail to make it to Q2 today. We have been struggling all weekend with understeer and we are still trying to do our maximum and I was pushing a lot. We really only had one lap to see where the balance was this afternoon and the car seemed to be going the other way towards oversteer and I made a mistake,” he said.
“That doesn’t mean I will have to fight the car all the time tomorrow, because there are still things we can do like playing with the front flap and tyre pressures to improve the situation for the race but it’s going to be a tough night tomorrow.”