Toro Rosso‘s recent run of point scoring finishes came to an abrupt halt in Abu Dhabi today as Jaime Alguersuari finished fifteenth after a botched pit stop and Sebastien Buemi retired after just nineteen laps with a technical problem.
Alguersuari was given a 20-second time penalty at the end of the race for ignoring blue flags, but this does not affect is finishing position.
“I am very disappointed with the outcome of this weekend, because we had opted for a strategy in terms of aerodynamics that appeared to be the best in terms of ease of overtaking in the race,” said Alguersuari. “However, after the first four or five laps, I seemed to pick up some tyre degradation and I was losing the rear end. Then came the key moment in my race, when there was a mistake in the pit stop, which cost me a lot of time and dropped me down the order, from which I could not recover.
“Today, P10 was possible, because I had a good pace on the new Options, even if I am not sure that we could have caught the Force Indias. I am sure Brazil will suit us better, so I am looking forward to that and the chance for all of us to do a better job.”
Buemi revealed the nature of his technical problem, without which the Swiss driver suspects he could have finished in a decent points-paying position.
“I had to retire because of a loss of fluid from the hydraulic system, which I first felt through the lack of power steering, as this is what makes the most demand on the hydraulics,” he said. “After that, I could not change gear so there was nothing to do but bring the car into the pits and retire.
“It is such a shame, because I was having a good race up to that point. Just before it happened, I had passed Di Resta in the Force India and was hoping to start fighting Schumacher and Sutil, which means that a finish somewhere between seventh and ninth should have been possible tonight. Now we have just one more opportunity to try and score some more points, so I can't wait to get to Brazil to try and end the season with a good result.”
Team principal Franz Tost agreed that points should have been possible for the team today, but thinks that the they can still overhaul Sauber in the constructors’ championship this season.
“This was a night of missed opportunities,” he said. “As we had expected, we were not as competitive in qualifying here as we had been in India, but felt we would show better in the race. In the early stages, this proved to be the case, with Sebastien running as high as seventh at one point. However, he had to bring the car into the pits and retire with an hydraulic failure caused by a leak from the system.
“Jaime was running a couple of places behind his team-mate, but there was a mistake at his first pit stop, which cost him a lot of time and therefore he dropped down the order. From then on, he drove well, putting in some competitive lap times, but the points positions were no longer within his sights.
“With Sauber scoring one point today, our battle with them for seventh in the championship must now go down to the wire in Brazil at a track that should suit our car characteristics better than this one.”