On a busy and hectic day for teams up and down the pit lane, Toro Rosso and Sebastien Buemi have a single point to bring home from the Japanese Grand Prix.
The rain yesterday meant that qualifying had to be moved to this morning. Just five hours before the race was scheduled to begin, the cars headed out on track for the early stages of Q3. Buemi failed to make it out of that first part of qualifying but, despite starting eighteenth, managed to finish the grand prix tenth.
“It was a good race for us and I am happy to have got a point,” Buemi said. “However, it was a bit frustrating as, towards the end, I was catching Barrichello by around one second per lap and maybe if I had switched to the Option tyre earlier I would have been more competitive and got closer to him and maybe got past. The problem I had in qualifying with the floor of my car did not help, as it was the first time I have failed to get into Q2.”
Jaime Alguersuari started sixteenth but could only finish eleventh. He was overtaken by Kamui Kobayashi in the closing stages of the race, but rather than accept the loss of position, the Spanish rookie tried to barge the Sauber off the road. Kobayashi got away, leaving Alguersuari with a broken front wing, and no doubt some dented pride as well.
“We knew it would be a tough weekend for us here and it was, although I had hoped to qualify better than I did,” he said. “In the race, I pushed as hard as I could. In the later part, Kobayashi was much faster than me, but that is not a reason to let him past, so I fought as hard as I could and we touched and I had to pit for a new nose. I hope my team principal is happy that I was very determined. I am happy for the team that Buemi got a point.”
Franz Tost was pleased with Alguersuari’s general driving, but rued the points lost by the collision with Kobayashi. He seemed more pleased with Buemi’s efforts. “I am pleased that Sebastien picked up a point today, because he has had a run of bad luck in the last few races and he deserved this point for tenth place,” the Toro Rosso team principal said. “He posted some very good lap times and was surprisingly fast at times. We benefited from an element of luck as some of our direct rivals ended up in the gravel trap.
“Jaime also did a good job, producing competitive lap times throughout the race. Unfortunately, in the closing stages he was involved in a collision with Kobayashi which meant he had to come in to change the nose.
“One point might not be much, but it's better than nothing! So, with this morale boost for the team who did a good job, let's see what we can do when we discover Korea for the first time.”