Scuderia Toro Rosso suffered a weekend of underachievement in Spain, with Daniil Kvyat finishing down in 14th with Jean-Eric Vergne being forced out of the race with a mechanical issue before half distance.
The young Russian Kvyat continued his 100% finishing record by coming home fourteenth, but dropped two places from his grid spot of twelfth. He admitted it was a difficult race at the Circuit de Catalunya.
“To be honest it was quite a difficult race today,” said Kvyat. “We lacked pace, even though I must say that the first stint was quite positive and it seemed possible to even fight for some points. In the end, tyre wear was quite heavy and together with the lack of pace, it turned out to be a tough race.
“The opening lap was okay and there were lots of battles, in which I managed to overtake a few cars on the outside line and by the end of the first stint I even managed to close in on both Force India cars. But unfortunately it was not enough and even when I put on a fresh set of option tyres for the last stint and overtake a couple of cars towards the end of the race, it was not possible to make it into the points today.”
Team-mate Vergne suffered his third retirement in five races after an exhaust issue, but was already compromised by a five-place grid-drop penalty after a wheel was not attached properly by the team before the Frenchman was released onto the track, something Vergne refuses to blame anyone for.
“Somebody has asked me if I feel a bit persecuted by bad luck at the moment,” said Vergne. “It might look like this, but this is part of the game. I always do all I can, my team is working really hard and problems can happen. For the ten-grid positions penalty I don’t blame anyone. When I crash the car it’s the team that pays my mistake, so this is part of racing.
“Today I was really determined in having a good race, against all odds. The first stint was quite difficult as I had a front left brake problem that caused front locking, but the pace was really looking strong on the option tyres, until an exhaust problem put an end to my race. I’m still very positive that I will have my chance.
“I drive a Formula One car and I enjoy doing it, no matter what! Monaco is just around the corner; my team and I will once again put all our efforts together to have a good weekend there.”
Team Principal Franz Tost admitted the weekend was one of frustration, with the pre-weekend aims of points unable to be achieved. The car did not perform as the team expected, which meant the two drivers were always on the back foot.
“We struggled during the whole weekend here in Barcelona, without being able to achieve the pace that we were expecting,” said Tost. “In both qualifying and the race we couldn’t build up the speed to go into Q3 and to finish in the points today with Daniil. As for Jean-Eric, unfortunately we had to call him in soon after his first pit stop because of a problem to the exhaust system.
“Now we will work very hard to prepare the car for a better performance in Monaco.”