Scuderia Toro Rosso say that the Australian Grand Prix “Likes them” after both Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat finished in the points after a difficult winter period.
After qualifying both the No. 25 and No.26 STR9-04s sat in the top ten, although during the race the Renault powered cars dropped positions, with Vergne finishing eight, two places lower than he qualified, and Russian rookie Kvyat ending up in ninth, and by doing so breaking the record for the youngest driver to score points in a Formula One race.
“This is obviously a good result, even though the car was very difficult to drive,” said Vergne. “We had problems with the brakes which made us lose a lot of time but at the end we are all satisfied to finish the race with two cars in the points. I’m very pleased with the overall three points especially for the team, more than for myself.
“After a long difficult time and so much hard work this winter, this is a great relief for all the guys in the garage and it’s nice for us drivers to be able to give them something back. It looks like things are turning well and hopefully it will always be better from now on. As for my mistake in the last corner, I was trying to defend myself from the Williams, looking for the best line to get a good exit, but I went on the grass and I was lucky enough not to spin the car. It’s really a shame but it’s just the first race and I’m sure we will have plenty of opportunities to score more points. Overall, it’s a good result today.”
Kvyat, who now holds the record of youngest points score at 19 years, 10 months and 18 days, said: “It was a very intense afternoon and finishing my first race with a point is a great feeling. The start was a bit messy, but after that I managed to get into a rhythm and the car seemed competitive compared to those around us. I never expected to score a point in my first race, so it feels amazing. It’s a real boost for us and now we have to keep on working hard and if we keep on the way we are going, then we can look forward to a really positive season.”
Franz Tost, Team Principle of Toro Rosso, said: “Melbourne likes us. We did a good qualifying session, finishing in 6th and 8th position and the team managed to finish the race with both cars in the points. This is really a good achievement, also considering that this was the first time for us to cover a full race distance. This is obviously the reward for a very good job done by both the team and Renault.”