Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne had a strong race in Canada but Russian team-mate Daniil Kvyat was forced to retire as Scuderia Toro Rosso endured a mixed weekend in Montreal. Vergne picked up his first points since the opening race of the year in Australia with an eighth place finish.
For the second year in a row, Vergne impressed at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. He made a good start to overtake the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso and proceeded to hold the Spaniard behind him throughout the first stint. He later held position ahead of the McLaren-Mercedes of Kevin Magnussen and took eighth at the flag.
“I’m extremely happy as I feel I gave my best today,” said Vergne. “It was a good race, maybe the best of my F1 career so far, not in terms of results but I think everything went perfect and we finally scored some points. I was able to gain a position on Alonso after a good start and I could keep Magnussen behind later on, managing well what was a difficult race.
“The team did a great job all weekend, where we worked really well to put together the best possible car. We are now waiting for more updates to come at the Austrian Grand Prix and I’m confident we will improve the speed and bring home even better results.”
Team-mate Kvyat’s race was not the best for the young Russian. An early spin cost him some time, and then he ended his race at the hairpin with an apparently drive train issue. He admitted the whole weekend has been tricky.
“It’s been a disappointing end to a difficult weekend here in Canada,” said Kvyat. “Even though yesterday’s Qualifying did not go well for me, I was hopeful to aim high in today’s race. At the start of the race I lost a position and then later on I made a mistake in Turn 1 when my tyres were still a bit cold and I lost quite a lot of time there. At the point my race was already compromised, but I kept pushing anyway. I then had to stop on track when I suddenly lost drive.”
Team Principal Franz Tost praised Vergne for his strong race, and was happy the mechanical gremlins that had affected him in previous races did not affect him in Canada. Tost now looks forward to Austria will a hope of improved performance with upgrades planned for the Red Bull Ring.
“I am very happy for Jean-Eric’s strong 8th place finish today, especially after he was forced to retire on several occasions due to technical problems, when he was actually in a promising position to score points,” said Tost. “The team was able to provide him with a car that allowed him to show what he is capable of. After having overtaken Alonso at the start of the race, JEV managed to keep him behind and he also succeeded in defending his position against Magnussen towards the end.
“On the other side, it looks like Daniil suffered a drive train failure, which forced him to end his race early. We are now looking forward to going to the Red Bull Ring in Austria, where we will have numerous updates to further improve the general performance of the car.”