Toro Rosso out of the points after collisions in the final few laps

by Tom Cairns
Daniil Kvyat - Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda in the 2019 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix - Circuit of the Americas - Race

Toro Rosso Honda were disappointed to have come away from the United States Grand Prix without any points.

Daniil Kvyat would have come away with a point, had he not been involved in a last lap clash with Sergio Pérez. The collision was enough to hand the Russian a five-second time penalty, dropping the Russian from tenth to twelfth at the finish.

To make matters worse, that promoted the Mexican to tenth and Toro Rosso dropping behind Racing Point F1 Team in the Constructors’ Championship.

It was the second race in succession that Kvyat had been awarded a post-race time penalty following contact on the last tour. The coming together with Nico Hülkenberg in the Mexican Grand Prix robbed the twenty-five year old a points finish as well.

“It was a tricky race, we were a little bit off the pace today compared to our direct competitors,” Kvyat shared.

“We used the tyres a bit more than we usually do, so we need to analyse that. Even with those issues, I managed to finish P10 on track on the last lap. I think was a harsh but fair move, it was great racing like we want to see and what we have seen this season without other drivers being penalised.

“I’m very upset and disappointed about this penalty because I don’t think this is what our sport needs.”

Kvyat remains thirteenth in the Drivers’ Championship on thirty-four points, three behind Hulkenberg in twelfth.

Pierre Gasly - Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda in the 2019 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix - Circuit of the Americas - Race
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Pierre Gasly was also on the receiving end of a collision with Pérez. The Frenchman was ninth with three laps to go before contact at Turn Thirteen meant he had to pull into the pits with broken front suspension and was classified sixteenth in what had been a huge setback for the Italian team.

“It was a really good race as we were running in the top 10 for most of it and keeping pace with the McLarens,” Gasly added.

“In the end I started to fight with Sergio and we made contact in Turn 13 which broke the front right suspension, so we had to retire the car. We were fighting, he went down the inside of Turn 13 then we touched with my front right tyre which bent the suspension.

“I don’t think it was anything big, but it was enough to put me out of the points and end our race. It’s disappointing to end this way after a strong weekend.”

Gasly is now to eighth in the Drivers’ Championship, four points behind seventh place Carlos Sainz Jr. and seven behind sixth place Alexander Albon.

Technical Director Jody Egginton could not hide his disappointment, as the team showed strong pace all weekend up until the closing stages.

“Today’s race did not provide the result we wanted, which is disappointing especially given the performance shown up to this point in Austin,” Egginton said.

“Pierre had a reasonably strong race early on but ran out of tyres in the last few laps, which meant he was unable to defend against the cars behind who were on fresher tyres. Ultimately, he was forced to retire due to the damage sustained from contact with Perez.

“Dany’s race started to come together in the last ten laps, but with the yellow flags at Turn 12 in the last two laps of the race, opportunities to make a pass for P10 were limited. The move that he made on Perez was deemed too aggressive and we got a time penalty of five seconds, which puts us out of the points.

“We unfortunately lost a position in the Constructors’ Championship here in the USA, but there are two races to go to recover and we will be working hard to make sure we are well prepared to do this.”

Honda F1 Technical Director Toyoharu Tanabe felt it was a very unfortunate way for Toro Rosso to end the United States Grand Prix but was pleased to see sister-team Red Bull Racing come away with a strong result.

“Once again today, Max Verstappen delivered a strong performance to finish on the podium in third place,” Tanabe quoted.

“It’s a good result, maybe a bit disappointing, as we felt he had a chance of taking second place at the end, but unfortunately, the yellow flags prevented that. He was quick all weekend.

“Alex Albon unfortunately dropped to last after the collision at the start, but he drove very well to fight his way up the order to finish fifth.

“As for Toro Rosso, Pierre was in the points for most of the race, so it was disappointing that both cars failed to score, as for a moment it looked as though Kvyat would get the last point for tenth. Finally, congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on his incredible achievement.”

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