Mixed emotions at Toro Rosso after a ​tough weekend in Sochi

by Ed Spencer

Scuderia Toro Rosso suffered a nightmare Russian Grand Prix after grid penalties effectively ended all hopes of a points finish with Daniil Kvyat only managing twelfth in his home Grand Prix whilst Pierre Gasly managed fourteenth.

After the decision was made on Thursday by engine supplier to fit new engines in order for points at the Japanese Grand Prix, both Toro Rosso’s was exiled to the back of the grid for exceeding the number of available engine parts.

From then it proved to be an uphill struggle for both drivers as Kvyat and Gasly both struggled to move up the order as both drivers finished outside of the points and over a minute behind.

Kvyat came closest of both the Toro Rosso drivers as he was just three seconds behind Renault‘s Nico Hülkenberg in tenth but was unable to catch the Renault in time.

Nevertheless Kvyat was happy with his weekend’s efforts.

“I had a strong and competitive race today.said Kvyat. “It was a good effort from the team to start from the back of the grid and finish very close to the points.

I had a good start and some enjoyable battles, I was really fighting until the very last lap, so I’m happy with my race. It was a good Sunday in the end, especially considering the problems we had in the previous days. It’s just a shame not to get the reward…the team would have deserved it.”

Gasly on the other hand had a quiet race as his Toro Rosso struggled to keep up with the tail end of the midfield as the Frenchman trundled home in fourteenth spot and second last.

“It was a pretty challenging day for us,” said Gasly. “We didn’t have the pace to fight for points today, I tried to do everything I could inside the cockpit but there wasn’t much we could do.

“I had a good fight with Dany as you always have to try to fight for positions.” “At the time, I was pushing for twelfth, a position that allows you to think that something can always happen in front of you and you can finish in tenth.

“I tried to do what I could, but we didn’t have enough speed, so it was a tricky day.” “As today we underperformed compared to what we showed earlier this weekend, we now need to analyse and understand why to come back with better pace in Suzuka.”

Team principal Franz Tost was pleased with both of his driver’s performances despite not picking up points.

“After the first safety car period, both Pierre and Daniil drove quite a good race.said Tost. “They were on different strategies, with Pierre starting on Prime tyres while Daniil began the race on the Base, as we wanted to have long first stints.”

“This worked out quite well. We were a bit unlucky with Pierre because we called him into the pits on lap 26, just one lap before the safety car was deployed when Vettel stopped on track.

“Nevertheless, he re-joined the race in a reasonably good position. As for Daniil, he pitted during the safety car to change to the Option tyres, and both drivers restarted the race next to each other.

“Unfortunately, we detected a problem with that set of tyres so we decided call him in again for a second pit stop, which was a free one as it was during another safety car period. At the end of the race, we didn’t have the speed to overtake Stroll and Hulkenberg to finish in the points.”

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