Toro Rosso enjoyed their strongest result of the season at Spa today. It was the first time the Italian team had finished in the points since the second race of the year in Malaysia. Jean-Eric Vergne finished an excellent eighth place with Daniel Ricciardo finishing a place behind in ninth.
The team has been enduring their worst season since they entered the sport in 2006, but aided by the first lap carnage, they showed why they still have the potential to score points in the second half of this season.
“I am really happy after what was a fantastic race. I had hoped to come here and score points on my favourite track and I managed it. I had a very good car and I was able to do some good overtaking moves. It was a shame I lost a lot of time behind Rosberg, but I’m not complaining on a day when I finally scored some points again,” Vergne said, before adding a slow stop meant he avoided the first corner accident.
“I did not get a very good start, as I just touched the anti-stall. That meant quite a few cars passed me and that’s when I saw there was a crash. I braked and took a line as near to the inside as possible and I came out of it without too much trouble.”
“I enjoyed myself today and I think we are on the right track although it’s hard to say exactly what was better about our car this weekend. We will analyse everything that happened this afternoon with the intention of being even stronger in Monza next weekend. The team worked well and the pit stops were good so well done to them too and it’s great that Daniel also scored points. I will leave Spa with a good souvenir of this weekend.”
It has been an even longer time since Ricciardo scored – having finished in the points at his home race in Australia at the start of the year.
“That was good fun! We managed to benefit from the incident immediately after the start, when I had got a good run off the line. Then I managed to move right to the inside going through the hairpin and came out sixth. My first stint was on the Medium tyre and I think I ran as high as fourth at one point.”
“However, I was not quite as quick in my last two stints which were on the Prime, so I dropped a couple of positions. You always want to do better, you always want more, but you can’t complain with ninth, being back in the points for the first time since Melbourne. Hopefully, it will give us some momentum for the team’s home Grand Prix next week,” he said.
The team now moves on to their home race at Monza where in 2008, they enjoyed their first pole and victory to date thanks to Sebastian Vettel.