Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari were innocent parties in separate accidents at the Belgian Grand Prix as Toro Rosso recorded their first double-DNF of 2011 in Spa-Francorchamps.
Alguersuari was the first to be unceremoniously dumped out of the race after Bruno Senna ran into him in the first corner of the grand prix. The Spaniard made his feeling about the incident pretty clear:
“I don't want to speak badly about any other driver as it's not my style, but I think the situation was quite clear to everyone,” said Alguersuari. “Going into the hairpin after the start, I was in the middle with Senna on my inside and Fernando on my outside and Senna completely missed his braking point and hit me which pushed me into the path of the Ferrari.”
“We clearly had a car capable of scoring many points today, which is a tribute to all the hard work of the team. I feel sorry for the guys, because starting sixth on the grid is not an everyday occurrence for us. Now I am looking forward to the next race in Monza, as I see no reason why we cannot be competitive there and score more points.”
Buemi lasted just six laps more than his team-mate. Unseen by the track-side cameras, or at least missed by the television director, Sauber driver Sergio Perez ran into the back of Buemi, causing terminal damage to the rear of his car.
“I got a great start, moving up from eleventh on the grid to sixth after the first corner, which was fantastic,” explained the Swiss driver, setting the scene for his tale of woe. “I was able to follow the pace of Alonso and Hamilton. Then Perez tried to pass me and simply drove into the back of me, which completed destroyed my rear wing and I had no option but to bring the car back to the pits to retire. I really can't understand what he was doing, as I was clearly ahead of him: it was as though he forgot to brake.
“Next, we come to the team's home race in Monza and, as our car seems to have made progress in performance terms, let's see what we can do there.”
Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said that there were plenty of positives to draw from the weekend in Belgium, and also pointed out that both drivers were completely innocent when it came to the incidents that ended their races.
“Both our drivers had very short races, before being knocked out in incidents that were not their fault, a view supported by the race officials, who penalised Senna and Perez for the collisions with Jaime and Sebastien respectively,” he said. “Of course, this is very disappointing given our strong showing in qualifying, which meant we were hoping to score a good number of points today.
“However, on the positive side, both our drivers performed very well throughout the weekend and all the updates introduced on the STR6 appear to have delivered an increase in performance. Given all the hard work completed over the past few weeks prior to the break, in the factory at Faenza and the wind tunnel in Bicester, I think everyone at Scuderia Toro Rosso deserved a better reward than to see both cars go out of the race so early. However, our pace here was encouraging and means we can look forward to trying again in two weeks time, for what is our home race at Monza.”