Jaime Alguersuari finished the Turkish Grand Prix just over two seconds of a points finish after qualifying down in sixteenth on another solid yet unspectacular race day for Toro Rosso.
Sebastien Buemi’s chances of points this afternoon were ruined on the opening lap after a collision with the Williams of Nico Hulkenberg, which forced the Swiss driver into an early pit stop.
Alguersuari, who finished the race twelfth, was encouraged by the positions he made-up throughout the race, and is already looking forward to the next event in a fortnight’s time.
“I believe we can be satisfied with our result, as I don't think I could have done better from where I started,” said the Spaniard.
“The decision to make two stops for tyres was the correct one, so that I could attack De La Rosa and Kobayashi at the end. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite do it in the number of laps remaining, but this has been an encouraging weekend and I really hope we can again push in Canada, getting back to scoring points again.”
Buemi explained the drama that he faced on his opening lap of the race at the Istanbul Park:
“The start was good, but then De La Rosa made a poor exit to Turn 2 so going into Turn 3 I tried to go round him on the outside. But I went a bit wide and when I came back onto the track, Hulkenberg got past me and as I tried to retake him at Turn 7 on the outside, I think he might have lost the front end of the car and he clipped my right rear, which punctured the tyre and I had to pit immediately.
“After that, my race pace was not too bad, considering there was quite a bit of damage to the rear of the car, which meant I had a lot less downforce. I had a good fight, but I am a bit disappointed, so now I am just looking forward to the next race.”
Franz Tost noted that the team’s race pace always seems to be better than that shown over a single lap on a Saturday, and knows it is an imbalance that Toro Rosso must address if they want to be regular points finishers.
“As we have seen in past races, our performance on Sunday is much better than in qualifying and today yet again, both our drivers had good race pace,” said the technical director of the Red Bull sister team.
“We now need to concentrate on transferring that good level to qualifying, as your race is won or lost dependent on your grid position. It's difficult to score points when you start from far back.
“The team did a good job in terms of our tactics: unlike the majority, we started on the Prime tyre, as we expected the Option to struggle in the early laps. In the second stint, the Option did indeed bring a better pace.
“In the later stages, we saw that although Alguersuari was close to De La Rosa, he could not pass him and, as Liuzzi was around 19 seconds behind, we called him for another tyre change and if the race had been one or two laps longer, Jaime could have got the Saubers and scored a point.
“Unfortunately, Buemi had a collision with Hulkenberg on the opening lap. The Williams front wing clipped Seb's right rear wheel and after pitting for new tyres, he went out again with a damaged floor and parts missing from the right rear brake duct. Nevertheless, he did quite good lap times for the rest of the race.”