Scuderia Toro Rosso endured one of their toughest qualifying sessions of the season at Austin, with neither Daniil Kvyat nor Jean-Eric Vergne reaching the final part of the session.
Kvyat was having an impressive United States Grand Prix weekend up until the qualifying hour, but struggled for pace and could only manage to set the fourteenth fastest time. A ten-place grid penalty for becoming the first driver to introduce a seventh engine to his car, means he will start seventeenth, and with him only being able to drop three places on the grid, he will be forced to drop the remaining places next weekend in Brazil.
“Today’s Q2 was more promising, but at the end we couldn’t do better than this,” said Kvyat. “We just had no pace and now we have to understand why. We really didn’t have the speed and we’ve been struggling with the car, the tyres and the grip. In addition, this weekend and the next one in Brazil are compromised by the 10-[place] grid position penalty. We have to accept the truth we had a poor Qualifying.
“Anyway we’ll try to do our best, making the most out of the car. Yesterday’s long runs worked quite well, so we’ll see what we can achieve tomorrow. Hopefully we can find some extra speed and aim for a good race. During the Grand Prix anything can happen, so we’ll keep on pushing as always.”
Team-mate Vergne was eliminated after the first part of qualifying after being forced to return to an older specification engine after issues with the one he was scheduled to use in Austin. The Frenchman was disappointed with the result of qualifying as oversteer made his Toro Rosso tricky to drive.
“Unfortunately today we had to change to an old specification engine, therefore we knew we couldn’t expect the best performance,” said Vergne. “In addition to this, not to drive in FP1 and having experienced problems this morning meant I did not have so much time available to set up the car properly.
“A lot of oversteer made it very difficult to drive today in qualifying. It’s a shame but let’s move forward, hoping to have a good race tomorrow.”