Toro Rosso went to the Brazilian Grand Prix hopeful of overtaking Sauber and securing seventh in the constructors’ championship but, after Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi finished eleventh and twelfth today in Interlagos, and thus scored no points, they must settle for eighth.
“This was a difficult race right from the start, with low grip in the first stint on the softer tyre, especially in terms of traction and at the exit to slow corners and I was struggling a lot to follow Buemi and Perez,” said Alguersuari. “The second stint on the harder tyre was much better, but it's hard to understand in general why we seem to have lost performance in the last two races.
“Overall, I am happy to finish the season on 26 points whereas last year I had only five, so hopefully I can continue this improvement by doing better next year.”
Buemi was disappointed that the team could not overhaul Sauber today, but feels that he performed as well as he could here in Brazil.
“Of course, we were hoping to score points today, but we were not competitive enough, finishing 11th and 12th,” said the Swiss driver, reflecting on a tough day in Sao Paulo. “I got a good start, passing Jaime and Barrichello but after that I soon suffered with tyre degradation partly because we did not have the best set up for these conditions, but in terms of my own performance I feel I did the best I could. I am disappointed we could not get ahead of Sauber, but that's racing.
“Overall, the season has not been too bad and I had some good races, but I lost points with various mishaps and problems. The team has worked well but we need to improve still further next year if we want to do better than this.”
Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost admitted that the team’s original target this season had actually been eighth place, but felt that the team could have ended the season better.
“At the start of the season, we set ourselves the target of finishing at least eighth in the Constructors' championship and that is where we have finished, 36 points ahead of those in ninth place,” he said. “However, having come so close to challenging for seventh place when we picked up a significant number of points in Korea and India, we cannot be happy with missing out on overtaking the team ahead of us, failing to score in the last two races.
“As for today's race, Sebastien got a good start, while Jaime dropped a couple of places and then on the Soft tyre, we struggled to match the pace of the Saubers who had got ahead of us at the start and therefore Kobayashi pulled away a bit. Once back on the Medium compound, Jaime was able to close the gap but not enough to get past.
“As for Buemi, he did not have the pace today, which was partly due to the fact we opted to give him a set-up that would have been more suited to a wet race. Work is already well underway on our next year's car and as from tomorrow, the entire team's focus switches to 2012.”