Toro Rosso technical director Giorgio Ascanelli described Sebastien Buemi‘s lap in qualifying today as ‘superb’ as the Swiss driver took eleventh place on the grid for tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Buemi did just one run in Q2, and so has more tyres available for race day. He says that, in a way, it is better for him to qualify eleventh than tenth today.
“I am very happy with this eleventh place,” said Buemi. “We finished ahead of the Saubers and Force India and when you consider that as planned I will have some new parts for the next race, it is also a very good sign for Monaco.
“On top of that we have saved an extra set of new soft tyres for the race, because we opted not to try a second run in Q2, so at the moment everything is looking good. In some ways, it is better to be eleventh than tenth, because if I had made it to Q3, we would probably have gone out and used another set of tyres, but this way, I am on the clean side of the track with one set extra.”
Jaime Alguersuari sounded reasonably pleased with his efforts after qualifying just a couple of places behind his team-mate. He does not have the luxury of an extra set of tyres however, after opting to do two runs in Q2.
“The car worked well in the high speed section of the circuit, but in the slow ones, I did not have a good feel for the car, so we need to look at the data to see how to improve the car in Sector 3 before tomorrow's race,” explained the Spaniard. “Overall, I am pleased for the team because the result for both of us is good and I think we can run a competitive race. We can expect a three pit stop strategy, because Pirelli's new Prime is harder than it was before. I am looking forward to having a good race at my home circuit.”
Ascanelli suspects that Alguersuari’s qualifying position is a better reflection of their actual pace, and that an extra attempt from the Spaniard was actually just a waste of tyres.
“I think eleventh place is a bit better than expected, because at the end of the day, Seb pulled out a magnificent lap,” he said. “Jaime's position is a more accurate reflection of our standing, even if he did not get it quite right for whatever reason. It was a difficult session as the temperatures were higher and the car was tail-happy, so Jaime was unable to manage the tyres in the final sector, but like I said Seb did a superb lap with our aggressive choice of only doing one lap on that final run.
“With Jaime, it was not the right decision to give him another set of tyres for another run in Q2, but you don't want to upset a driver in the heat of battle when he tells you he can go quicker!
“We had some updates here and they are producing the results we expected. It involved a lot of work for a small step forward and I think they will work more effectively next weekend in Monaco as we now have a better understanding of them.”