Franz Tost thanked the “rain gods” for being on Scuderia Toro Rosso‘s side at the German Grand Prix, helping the team to a second Formula 1 podium finish in its history.
Daniil Kvyat claimed his first podium since his third-placed finish for Red Bull Racing at the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix by matching the result, and team-mate Alexander Albon also secured big points in sixth at the end of a chaotic race at Hockenheim,
Kvyat was running in second until a late charge from Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel demoted the Russian, who was also celebrating the arrival of his first child on Saturday evening.
For the first time since the 1992 Portuguese Grand Prix, two Honda-powered cars were present on the podium – as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took his second victory of the season.
Tost congratulated Honda, his former driver Verstappen and heaped praise on Kvyat for a “fantastic race”.
“It was another fantastic and very exciting Formula 1 race,” said Tost.
“Congratulations to Max for the victory and to Honda, for their second win in the turbo era.
“Enormous congratulations to Daniil, he really deserved this third position.
“He had a fantastic race, he showed really good overtaking manoeuvres and he could keep focused until the end without any mistakes, in difficult conditions.
“The rain seemed to be on our side, so thanks to the rain gods!”
Tost then expressed his satisfaction with Albon’s first wet weather drive in F1 machinery – the Thai driver battled at the front for most of the grand prix and even troubled reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton for position at one of the Safety Car restarts.
Albon survived a late collision with Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly, after the Frenchman left it too late to pull out of the slipstream on the run to Turn 7 with four laps of the 64-lap race remaining and hit the Toro Rosso’s right rear corner.
“I’m also very satisfied with Alex’s performance as he had a fantastic race,” he said.
“It was the first time for him driving an F1 car in such changing conditions and he had everything under control, including managing the tyres, which was very important to finish in sixth position.”
The 63-year-old also paid tribute to Toro Rosso’s strategy team, who chose to put Kvyat on fresh soft tyres on lap 45 as the track started to dry.
The timing of the stop helped elevate the Russian into the top three, behind fellow gambler Lance Stroll of the Racing Point F1 Team.
One lap later, Albon was brought into the pits but lost the chance to compete for the podium spots again.
Toro Rosso’s first podium since Vettel’s memorable victory at the wet 2008 Italian Grand Prix, and Albon’s sixth place, helps move the team past the Haas F1 Team, Alfa Romeo Racing, Racing Point and the works Renault F1 Team into fifth place in the Constructors’ standings.
With 42 points, Toro Rosso has now eclipsed its points total for the whole of the 2018 season.
“I must compliment the strategy team, the call to bring Daniil in for option tyres quite early was a risky one but it paid off and he was able to finish on the podium,” Tost continued.
“We had a fantastic car today, the engineers did a great job on the setup side.
“I want to thank everybody in Toro Rosso who has made this possible.
“We are now looking forward to Budapest, in the past we showed good performances there and we can’t wait to do it again.”