Formula 1

Toro Rosso claim Bahrain qualifying ‘better than expected’

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Toro Rosso said that qualifying in Bahrain was “better than expected” despite only claiming 15th and 18th spots on the grid.

Sebastian Buemi was the faster of the two drivers in the session, and is targeting a points finish in the race tomorrow. “It's pretty much what we expected and we appear to be fighting with Petrov, the Saubers and the Williams. As always I felt I could have done better, but not by much, maybe two tenths. Tomorrow for the first race, I would hope to finish in the points, which this year means getting to tenth. That would involve moving up five places, which is not an impossible task, given that it will be a long race and anything could happen.”

Jaime Alguersuari had the ignominy of being the ‘straggler’ in qualifying (a phrase coined by Martin Brundle today) – the only driver not in a brand new team to fail to make it out of Q1. At each race their will be one of these, with seven drivers now knocked out in the first stage and only six in new cars. He blames a mistake on his part for the disappointing grid position. “We hoped to be in Q2 but I made a mistake on my fastest lap on the soft tyres. The grip level was quite low, I was pushing hard and it caught me out, going too fast into a turn. There is room for improvement of course and I hope I can have a good race tomorrow and move up the order a bit, but it looks like it will be tough to score points. We will have to do better next time.”

Technical director Giorgio Ascanelli said that qualifying had actually been better than he had been expecting. “I am actually quite happy that we did better than seventeenth and eighteenth, which is what I had expected. Jaime had traffic and made a mistake, which can happen, so he is capable of better. With only limited running in free practice, Seb didn't get the best out of himself and the car, but I am happy with what both drivers did. There is no reason to expect a better race pace, but it will be a tough afternoon during which I hope we will be sustained by our reliability.”

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