Toro Rosso qualified seventeenth and eighteenth for the German Grand Prix – nothing particularly unexpected about that – although, perhaps surprisingly, Jaime Alguersuari out-qualified Sebastien Buemi for only the second time this season.
“To be honest I did not expect to be quicker than my team-mate today, as it has been a difficult weekend with not so much testing on a dry track,” said Alguersuari. “Therefore, I found it hard to get up to speed in the dry, but in the end, I managed it in qualifying, even if I might have been able to improve by one or two tenths.
“If it stays like this for the race, who knows what might happen as it is possible that tyre degradation will be a factor that might help me move up the order.”
Clearly for Buemi, being out-qualified by a less experienced teammate is rather embarrassing, but the Swiss driver is already planning a way past Alguersuari once the lights go out tomorrow.
“Q1 went well, but I am not really sure what happened in Q2, as I was unable to make the most of the improving track conditions,” Buemi said, already searching for excuses for his predicament. “We will have to see why that was, if it was down to the way we ran the tyres or some other reason to do with the set-up. Therefore I am rather disappointed that things did not go as well as expected.
“As for tomorrow's race, there are a couple of places where you can overtake if you have the speed, so let's wait and see what happens and a lot could depend on the weather. If it is dry, the key element of the strategy will be managing the usage of the soft tyre.”
This qualifying performance in Hockenheim is actually better than the one at Silverstone two weeks ago, where Alguersuari went out in Q1. However, technical director Giorgio Ascanelli knows that they have Tonio Liuzzi’s accident in Q1 to thank for their slightly elevated positions today:
“After this afternoon's session, we are looking a bit better than in Silverstone a fortnight ago, however that is mainly due to Liuzzi's crash – I'm glad he seems okay – rather than due to our own efforts.”