The two Toro Rossos out-qualified both Force India cars at Interlagos today, although the result yielded a mixed response from their drivers.
Jaime Alguersuari, who came fourteenth in the damp session, felt that his position was as good as he could realistically expect, and is hoping for the chance to add to his points tally tomorrow.“I am reasonably satisfied with this qualifying performance, as I think we got pretty close to the maximum we could get out of our package in difficult conditions,” said the Spaniard.
“The track conditions were very changeable but we were able to confirm that we had found a solution to the problems we had in the wet this morning. With a wet qualifying, but the prospect of a dry race, we went with a set-up that was halfway between the two, which will hopefully serve us well tomorrow.
“I was not expecting to be this high up the order, so I hope that, with a good strategy and depending on tyre wear, we might be able to get some points tomorrow.”
In contrast, Sebastien Buemi was unhappy with his fifteenth place in qualifying. He feels that, on the evidence of the morning practice session, he should be higher up the grid. “I am very disappointed with the way this qualifying went, especially after I had been quick in the morning session,” said the Swiss driver. “I think that maybe we made the switch to Intermediates a bit too early in Q2 as the track was drying out. By the time the track had dried more, my tyres were no longer in the best condition, so I could not exploit the dry track.”
Buemi will drop five places once the penalty that hangs over him from the Korean Grand Prix is applied. He was penalised a fortnight ago for running into Timo Glock.
Laurent Mekies, the Toro Rosso Chief Engineer, was pleased with the qualifying effort, and also congratulated Nico Hulkenberg on his first ever F1 pole position:
“14th and 15th means that overall, this was an okay qualifying for us,” said Mekies. “It is always more interesting for everyone, when the conditions are tricky which makes life difficult for both drivers and the crew. We can be pleased with the fact that our two cars outpaced both Force Indias and one Sauber. However, the fantastic job done by Williams and Hulkenberg today shows that there was probably more potential to come from all of us, so congratulations to them. Tomorrow we can expect a dry race and we will be pushing very hard to try and get some points.”