Toro Rosso narrowly missed out getting a car through to Q3 today in Korea but had to settle for eleventh and thirteenth on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
Jaime Alguersuari was beaten into Q3 by Paul di Resta, who set a lap six-hundredths of a second faster than the Spaniard right at the end of Q2. Sebastien Buemi was 2.5 tenths of the Force India driver, and it is he who starts thirteenth.
“We did a good job, starting yesterday when the car felt fine in the wet,” said Alguersuari. “I think we now have a better understanding of some of the upgrades we introduced in Suzuka and made the most of them. I was also encouraged by the long run I did, as there was not as much tyre degradation as we had expected, so this issue should not trouble us tomorrow. I am expecting a lot from the race in which I hope we can score enough points to close up the gap to Sauber, who are starting behind us on the grid.”
Buemi was pleased with the result, and is aiming for another points finish tomorrow.
“I am reasonably happy with my performance in today's qualifying, even if thirteenth is not where we really want to be,” said the Swiss driver. “However, we are getting very close to Q3 which is very important. Being two tenths off getting into the top ten is a sign that the car is improving.
“I am sure I could have done a bit better, but this still looks good for tomorrow, especially considering we had a strong long run in free practice this morning, during which we got a good idea about tyre degradation. This means we should be well prepared for the race, in which we have every reason to believe we can get a good result.”
Toro Rosso technical director Giorgio Ascanelli said that the team had achieved these grid positions on merits, and congratulated Pirelli on the tyres provided for this particular grand prix.
“I am pleased with our performance today, because this was a good result also considering we were given no presents by other teams underperforming,” he reasoned. “Maybe we could have squeezed a bit more out of the package we had, but there's no need to be sore about that.
“We might have been able to get one car in Q3 and we missed out on that by a fraction, although you have to consider that in our part of the grid there were three cars within two hundredths of a second. I am pleased with the way the cars went and the way the drivers handled the session, getting clear laps.
“It's going to be an interesting race tomorrow. We can expect tyre degradation of course, but the sun and how much cloud cover we see will have a significant effect on what happens. I must congratulate Pirelli on being ambitious in their choice of Soft and Supersoft tyres, for which they have been rewarded with mild temperatures and overcast skies: both tyres worked well and tomorrow we will see that track temperature will be another important factor in the race.”