Both Toro Rosso drivers blamed a delay in switching to the soft tyre for the failure of both cars to get out of Q1 today at Silverstone.
The team sent both tyres out on the slower prime tyre at the beginning of the qualifying session, and did not have time to set a representative time on the softer tyres before rain fell in the second half of Q1.
”We were a bit unlucky and also we didn't get it right, because we should have switched to the soft tyre sooner, as they are worth about two seconds compared to the hard, so we never used our full potential,” explained Jaime Alguersuari, who will start the British Grand Prix from P18 tomorrow. “But it is not all negative, because we have good data in case it is wet again tomorrow and also as regards the Prime tyre on a long run, so we can be in good shape for the race.
“If we make the best of any opportunities, then it is not impossible for us to finish in the points again by the end of tomorrow afternoon. At least I have lots of new tyres ready to use and with only limited use of the DRS allowed in the race, we could be competitive not only in the wet, as was the case on Friday, but also in the dry.”
Team-mate Sebastien Buemi points out that Toro Rosso have recovered from poor qualifying positions to score points already this season, and he is hoping for more of the same tomorrow.
“I'm a bit disappointed, as we were not expecting the rain to arrive so soon, which meant we did not run the Option tyre as early as we might have done,” said the Swiss driver. “But the rain came down hard on my “out” lap, so I never got a chance to set a good time with the soft tyre, which normally is as much as two seconds a lap quicker than the hard.
“On the positive side, we have plenty of new tyres for tomorrow, so let's hope it will be dry. From this start position, getting a good start will be essential because, even with DRS, I think overtaking at this circuit will be difficult. This season we have started from poor grid positions but still gone on to have a good race and I hope that is the case tomorrow.”
Technical director Giorgio Ascanelli explained that the team were focusing on race preparation in their use of the hard tyre, and blamed the rain for the poor qualifying position.
“Of course it's disappointing not to make the cut into Q2,” said Ascanelli. “This morning, the drivers did not get much of an opportunity to run on low fuel, as we concentrated on race preparation, so we started qualifying sending them out on Prime tyres for a few laps to get a feel for a light car. Then, once they came in to switch to the Option, the rain came and caught us out, which meant there was no chance to improve the lap times.”