It was a point-less race for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team in Brazil, with Daniil Kvyat finishing eleventh and Jean-Eric Vergne thirteenth at Interlagos.
Kvyat ran as high as second early in the race after starting on the medium Pirelli tyres, but ultimately just missed out on points by just over half a second. He felt he tried his hardest to grab at least a point, but in the end was forced to settle for eleventh, a result he believed was the best he could have achieved.
“A tough race, but starting from the 17th position on the grid and ending up 11th was the highest result we could achieve today,” insisted Kvyat. “I really did my best but unfortunately the Mercedes powered cars were a lot quicker than us on the straights and we couldn’t do anything more than this. We have tried hard to fight for 10th position but we just weren’t fast enough.
“Me and the whole team gave the maximum and I hope that all our efforts will be repaid in Abu Dhabi, for our last race.”
Vergne was also unable to climb into the points, and was disappointed to be stuck behind the Force India of Sergio Perez for a long time. The Frenchman insists his thoughts are already focused on the season finale in Abu Dhabi in two weeks time, spending no time to dwell on the disappointing race in Brazil.
“It was a little bit painful today,” said Vergne. “I spent almost the whole race in traffic behind Perez and I was slower than him, so even with the DRS open on the straight it was not possible to overtake him. This made me lose a lot of time and from then on my race was over. There was no way to score points today.
“It was a tough weekend but it’s already behind my back. We have to move forward, the race in Abu Dhabi will be very important for us. We have to take the positive and the negative, turn the page and get ready for the last round of the season.”
Team Principal Franz Tost admitted both drivers had been compromised from very early on during the weekend, with Kvyat’s grid penalty and Vergne’s lack of running on Friday.
“Our weekend has been compromised from the very beginning because of various factors,” said Tost. “Daniil Kvyat had to purge a 7-place penalty on the starting grid, due to a 7th engine change in Austin and Jean Eric Vergne wasn’t able to carry out a proper preparation for the race due to a technical problem on Friday afternoon in FP2. As a consequence, our performance was not as good as we would have liked.
“Nevertheless, with Daniil we managed to finish the race in the 11th position, thanks to an efficient strategy that brought him close to scoring one point. As for Jean-Eric Vergne, he was constantly caught in traffic and it was not possible to overtake on the long straight. He took the chequered flag in the 13th position.
“Overall, we knew that here in Sao Paolo it would have been difficult to score points but we will try to be in the best possible shape to reach this target in Abu Dhabi, the very important last event of the season.”