Scuderia Toro Rosso has said consistency is key for their drivers to get a good result in the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix, as a 13th and 14th place start for their driving pairing didn’t reflect the work the team have put in the rest of the weekend.
Max Verstappen will be the one starting from ‘unlucky’ 13 and he said it was the simple matter of a lock-up that cost him his place in Q3.
The Dutchman said: “I’m happy with how the car has improved compared to yesterday. In FP3 we looked stronger and even though this is a very tricky track, I kept working to find the right balance and finally I found it just in time for the Qualifying session.
“Of course, my 13th position doesn’t show exactly where we should have been, as I think Q3 was possible for me today, but a lock-up at Turn 6 prevented me from it. We now have a bit more work to do for tomorrow, but I think we can be strong. We have a good race pace so I’m confident we will be able to fight for points again.”
Unfortunately for Carlos Sainz Jr. his missing out on Q3 can’t be pinned down to something as simple as a lock up, instead a lack of a final something to add onto the speed they have already found this weekend: “This morning in FP3 we made a step forward in terms of performance and the car felt better, but when we went into Qualy this afternoon we didn’t manage to find that extra bit. By missing out on two or three tenths we didn’t get into Q3 and we’re not in the best position for tomorrow. However, we know that we have a decent pace on long runs and we showed some good consistency yesterday, so to finish in the top ten is still our main target.”
The annoyance of the last few laps in Q2 was also something picked up on by Toro Rosso Technical Director James Key, who highlighted the squads good weekend up to then: “Today’s was a very tight qualifying session. We’re disappointed not to have got at least one car into Q3 because it was certainly possible and we missed out by only a couple of tenths. Q1 was fine and, as we hoped, we certainly improved the car compared to yesterday in short runs, but in Q2 we didn’t quite get those last laps together. The fact of it being such a tight field compromised our Q3. But what’s important and what we need to focus on is tomorrow.”