Formula 1

Toro Rosso Aim to Beat German Weather by Splitting Car Set-Ups in Qualifying

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The two Toro Rosso drivers will be paying particularly close attention to the weather in Germany tomorrow after the team gave one car a dry-weather set-up and the other a wet set-up before qualifying today.

Sebastien Buemi, the driver hoping for some rain at the Nürburgring tomorrow, still managed to out-qualify team-mate Jaime Alguersuari, despite no rain falling during the session, and severely curtailed running in Friday practice.

“Given how little track time I had yesterday, in general I am pleased with my performance this afternoon,” Buemi said, after qualifying in P16. “I had the feeling I got the maximum out of the car, which we had decided to run in rain set-up to be ready for a wet race tomorrow. Jaime has decided to stay with a dry set-up so now we must wait and see which one of us has made the right choice.”

Alguersuari, who will start German Grand Prix from seventeenth  place, said that his qualifying position is indicative of where the car’s performance is at the moment.

“This is where we are at the moment in qualifying,” said the Spaniard. “Maybe if it rains tomorrow, then it will prove to have been a good idea to have used the extra set of tyres this afternoon. Perhaps I could have gone one or two tenths quicker, but no more than that.

“Nevertheless, I am pleased that we managed to make a step forward on the car after this morning's session, improving it for qualifying and I believe I have a good set-up for the race too.”

Technical director Giorgio Ascanelli agrees with that analysis from Alguersuari, but thinks it was a mistake from the young driver, rather than any variation in set-up, that meant he qualified behind Buemi yet again.

“We have ended up in the positions that generally reflect our current level, even allowing for the fact that neither driver got a perfect lap on their last run,” he said. “Currently, we now seem to be closer to Sauber than to Force India that has made a step forward and Williams is also going better.

“This is not a circuit where I expect a big difference in pace between qualifying and the race for us, because it is a high downforce track and the low temperature means that it is less critical to save your tyres, which is something we seem to have been doing a bit better than others up until now. Therefore I don't expect a big change in pace tomorrow.

“Clearly, looking at the cars it is obvious that Seb has gone for a wet set-up, assuming it could rain tomorrow, while Jaime has stayed with the dry. There's not much difference between the two and in fact, this afternoon, Jaime's mistake at Turn 2 was more influential on their respective lap times.”


UPDATE: Sebastien Buemi was later excluded from the qualifying result after his fuel was found to be irregular. He will now start tomorrow’s race from the back of the grid. (Full story)

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David is an occasional contributer to the site on matters related to Formula 1. You can follow him on twitter at @Dr_Bean.
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