After showing so much promise during qualifying at Sochi with both Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne starting inside the top ten, the Scuderia Toro Rosso team were compromised during the race in Russia as their fuel consumption became critical and both drivers fell out of points contention despite having the pace to score.
Vergne made a good start to be running inside the top six early on and had a good duel with the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen before getting the call from the pit wall to save fuel with ultimately left him languishing down in thirteenth at the chequered flag.
“It was an extremely frustrating race,” revealed Vergne. “We have to understand why we had to save so much fuel. It’s a real shame because the guys did an excellent job giving us a very good car, which I felt was great for the whole race.
“The start was very positive; we were attacking as much as possible but then I had to stop doing it, even though I felt I could really do a great job. We have to move on to the next race in Austin, where hopefully we will be able to extract the maximum out of the car.”
Kvyat starred by qualifying fifth in front of his home fans but immediately lost places at the start and then struggled all afternoon as he was also required to save fuel. He also locked up his tyres as he fought for position with the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg that saw him make a second pit stop, and ultimately he finished fourteenth.
“It was a tough race,” reflected Kvyat. “Apart from the fact that I could not find immediately the right grip, we had to care too much about our fuel consumption compared to the others. This is something that we will have to understand, so as not to lose performance for this reason in the future. Last but not least, I also had to pit again towards the end of the race, losing even more positions.
“I would have liked to do much better here in Russia, in front of my own crowd, which really made me feel their great support. Regardless of the disappointing final result, it was great to race in such an amazing structure, with an excellent organization.”
Team Principal Franz Tost was disappointed to have to see both cars being forced to conserve fuel relatively early in the race that ultimately cost them the opportunity of securing points, something Tost believes would certainly have been possible on a normal day.
“First of all thanks very much to Mr. Putin and Bernie Ecclestone for putting on a Grand Prix here in Russia,” said Tost. “It was a really fantastic event, in a very beautiful setting. As for our race, starting from P5 and P9 to see the chequered flag in 13th and 14th position is far from what we were expecting today.
“After around twenty laps, we had to start saving fuel, so we could no longer use our real potential today. We lost places just because several other cars could easily overtake us, therefore the final result is actually quite disappointing. Now we have to analyse why it was possible that, with the same amount of fuel for everybody, we were so far behind. We need to find a solution and prevent this from happening again.”