For the Scuderia Toro Rosso team, the German Grand Prix promised so much but in the end the team left Hockenheim pointless. After starting eighth on the grid, Daniil Kvyat’s race saw him collide with Sergio Perez and then retire in a dramatic and fiery manner, while Jean-Eric Vergne struggled with tyre wear and with track limits that saw him penalised.
Vergne was disappointed with the penalty for gaining an advantage while leaving the track while trying to pass the Lotus of Romain Grosjean, and the Frenchman believed the five second penalty cost him a genuine shot of a points finish. The stewards later gave Vergne a penalty point on his licence for the manoeuvre.
“I was having a good race until the moment in which I had to make a five seconds stop-and-go penalty during my second pit stop, which compromised any possibility of scoring points,” said Vergne. “After it, I came back to the track on the option tyres, which are very fragile in traffic conditions. Very soon my front left was too damaged and I was forced to stop again for prime tyres to finish the race. I think points were possible here, the race was looking great so it’s been a real shame.”
Kvyat had qualified well up the field and had made a good start, but while trying to pass Sergio Perez, was tipped into a spin by the Force India driver. The Russian then struggled to conserve his tyres while fighting back, although that all became irrelevant when he was forced to retire in a fiery manner with a drive train failure.
“It’s a shame how my race ended today, especially because yesterday went very well,” said Kvyat. “My first stint was looking okay until the contact with Perez, which made me lose ground. I think I didn’t look after my tyres well enough during the second stint, in which I tried to catch up and get back some positions.
“The final stint was looking good in terms of pace, but I suddenly lost drive and I then saw smoke and later flames in the mirrors. I started to feel really hot in the car, so I parked it and jumped out as quickly as possible. It’s not a nice situation to be in, but I’m now more concerned about the car than anything else. I hope everything will be ok and I will now switch my focus to Hungary, where I hope we can do better.”
Team Principal Franz Tost felt it was a missed opportunity for the team to score points having been competitive during qualifying. He bemoaned the incidents with Perez for Kvyat and Grosjean for Vergne that cost both drivers time.
“Daniil’s race was compromised by the collision with Perez,” said Tost. “We had to call him in to change the tyres but the right hand side of his car was damaged which had a big impact on the aero-balance. So from this moment onwards he was no longer able to keep the pace. Unfortunately he could not finish the race because of a drive train failure, which we are still investigating.
“Jean-Eric showed a good performance, especially at the beginning of the race until the overtaking manoeuvre with Grosjean. Coming out from corner six he went off the track with four wheels and therefore the stewards decided to give him a five seconds stop-and-go penalty, which he paid during his second pit stop.
“With the supersoft, he started to suffer from heavy front left graining, which slowed him down. Of course, for JEV to finish thirteenth is disappointing and after Daniil’s good P8 result in his Qualifying session yesterday, we were expecting some points today. We have now a lot of work in front of us until the next race in Budapest, where we hope to show a better performance.”