Not only were Toro Rosso celebrating their sister team sealing the constructors’ championship in Korea today, but they could also toast a strong result for their own drivers and another eight points to add to their 2011 tally.
Jaime Alguersuari finished the race in an excellent seventh place, with only Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari drivers able to beat him. Team-mate Sebastien Buemi also had a strong race, finishing ninth.
“The reality is that the Toro Rosso team has done a fantastic job, not just this weekend, but also going back to Suzuka, where we introduced some updates on the car,” said Alguersuari. “In Japan, we did not make the most of them but in the few days in between the races the team has done really well to move forward for here.
“In qualifying I did a good lap and then today, I was not concerned about tyre degradation and believed our two stop strategy was the right one and it worked perfectly for us. The car had fantastic straight line speed which is how I managed to pass Nico (Rosberg) on the final lap. I struggled a bit in sector 2 compared to him which is why I saved all the KERS for after the first corner, in order to be close enough to activate the DRS. I ended up using all the KERS and DRS and it finally paid off right at the end. I must say I did not think I could do it, I did not expect it, but I gave it one last effort at the end I was able to get past, partly helped by the fact he made a small mistake on that lap. Combined with great pit stops, that is how we managed to produce this fantastic result.
“I am very happy for the team who have worked so hard, especially the mechanics fitting all these new parts. We are closer to Sauber now and with three races remaining, I think we have a chance of passing them, as long as we continue to perform like this, finishing in the top ten.”
Buemi made contact with someone in the first corner of the race which cost him positions early on. The Swiss driver is now looking forward to taking his competitive car to the next race: the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.
“I am extremely pleased with my race,” he said. “Someone drove into me at the first corner which cost me four places and I'm not really sure what happened. After that, I had to work hard to pass other cars – the two Williams, the two Saubers and both Force Indias – to move up the order. The car was very competitive with good top speed down the straight.
“The pit stops also went very well, so I want to thank the team who did a great job right from the start of the weekend. Now, I can't wait to get to India, because it seems we have a competitive car and I will be out to score more points in the first ever race there. We are now only a few points off Sauber in the championship and if we continue to work hard, I think we can realistically try and get ahead of them in the remaining races.”
Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost praised both his drivers for their performance today, and congratulated his entire workforce on this result. “Seventh and ninth place is by far our best result of the season, with Jaime matching his finishing position in Monza,” he noted. “It is down to the hard work of the entire team at the track and those back in the factory and at our wind tunnel, because without their efforts which delivered our most recent updates, our performance would not have improved to this extent. It was also the fruit of strong performances from both our drivers.
“After 55 laps, only the three top teams finished ahead of Jaime Alguersuari. After the start, he dropped one place, before driving a fantastic race, pulling off some aggressive passing manoeuvres, while delivering some very fast lap times. His fight to get past Rosberg on the last lap was very exciting. Sebastien lost four places at the start and had to fight his way up the order. He the lost a lot of time behind the Force India, but once he had dealt with that he too showed fighting spirit to move up to ninth.
“It's a superb result for Toro Rosso to be the first team on the results sheet behind the three top teams in this year's championship. Finally, congratulations to Red Bull Racing on adding the Constructors' crown to the Drivers' title they secured last Sunday.”