The Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers both gambled not to go out again at the end of the third session of qualifying for the British Grand Prix, and saw a possible top five grid slot disappear when the times improved dramatically, especially in the final sector. Daniil Kvyat ended the session ninth while team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne was tenth.
Kvyat was disappointed to end up ninth at Silverstone after being in the top five in the early runs of the session, and felt that the track would be too wet for drivers to improve on their earlier times.
“We were fighting for really high positions today, but then towards the end we made the decision not to go out anymore,” said Kvyat. “At that time it seemed to be the right decision because it was hard to imagine that anyone would have improved times because it had rained quite a lot and track conditions were tricky out there. But anyway, this is the way it is and in the end, P9 and P10 are good positions to start the race from. We will definitely fight hard tomorrow!”
Team-mate Vergne was baffled why he did not go back on track, and was forced to watch as the times tumbled and he fell down to tenth. He feels the car has been good all weekend, and he is hoping to score a good batch of points on Sunday.
“It was a good qualifying session today, at least until towards the end when we made a mistake in deciding not to go out again for one last run and improve our position,” said Vergne. “I don’t really know why but it’s a fact that all the others went out again and improved as expected. It’s a shame as we had a good car to fight for a higher position in the ranking, and it’s disappointing also considering that along the weekend we have consistently been quicker than some of the cars that will be in front of us on the grid tomorrow. Let’s stay positive and think that P9 and P10 are anyway good enough to hope for a good race tomorrow.”
Toro Rosso Technical Director James Key came away from qualifying with mixed emotions after seeing his drivers fall out of a top five qualifying effort to finish ninth and tenth at the flag. He is hopeful that the strong race pace the team showed on Friday will work in the race, and he expects the team to do the best job that they can.
“Slightly mixed feelings today because I think that from a general performance point of view everything went really well and according to plan until the last few minutes of Q3,” said Key. “It was a very tricky session, very unpredictable and I think that everyone on the pit wall and the drivers’ feedback matched very well what was going on, with a great effort from everyone.
“It’s disappointing to lose a higher position in the top ten. We were set to go out at the end; our indication was that it was too wet. In the end that final sector in the closing minutes was just dry enough to make the difference and that’s why the ones who went out are now ahead of us. Despite our disappointment, P9 and P10 are reasonable positions anyway, our race pace was good on Friday so we just have to do our best tomorrow.”