Jaime Alguersuari opened his F1 2011 points account in the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday.
It was a confidence boosting result for the Spaniard, who after only qualifying 18th, opted to start from the pit lane in his Toro Rosso so the team could switch him to a wet weather set-up. In the end that gamble paid off and he fought his way through to finish eighth and notch up four very valuable championship points.
“I am very happy because to finish eighth having started last from the pit lane is a really good result for us,” Alguersuari reflected. “I am also very pleased that I have scored my first points of the season, even if I know there is still room for improvement on my side and in terms of how we set up the car to suit me, especially in qualifying.
“Today, the team did a good job and we also made the most of every opportunity that came our way, some of them down to the bad luck of other teams. We ran a perfect strategy in terms of when we decided to stop to change tyres. This result will give everyone a lot of motivation to keep working hard.
“It gives us wings as we head for my second home race in Valencia! And the spectators deserve a mention for sitting in the cold and wet for so long, but I think they saw a good motor race.”
Team-mate Sebastien Buemi also scored, bringing the sister STR6 home in tenth – the fourth time this year he has got in the top-ten.
“Of course, I am pleased to have scored a point as that is always important. However, I am a bit disappointed because I think I could have done better myself and I'm not sure if changing to the slicks so early worked for me,” Buemi stated.
“But, looking at the overall result, including Jaime's eighth place, I am very happy for the team, who did such a good job. It seems something unusual always happens at this race and today's turned out to be a bit longer than expected, but stopping the race was the only correct decision because the cars were aquaplaning and visibility was very bad. I am sure the whole afternoon was very spectacular for the spectators! Now we must continue to work hard to be in good shape for Valencia.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost meanwhile was delighted to see both of his drivers' finish in the top-ten – a result that increases the team's tally to 12 and puts it above Force India and into seventh in the constructors'.
“Once again, an exciting F1 race: I thought Monaco was the peak, but yet again today we had another fantastic Grand Prix which is important as this sport is supposed to be entertainment. For Scuderia Toro Rosso, this is our best result of the year, as it is the first time we have got both our cars home in the points," Tost continued.
“I am very happy for Jaime that he finished eighth, getting his first points of the season. It will be good for his self-confidence as he has been struggling slightly in recent races and we can expect better things from him now, in Valencia and the following races.
“Sebastien also did a good job, coming home tenth. Our strategy worked well, gambling to come in early to change to slicks, which proved to be the correct decision and paid off. In fact, the whole team really deserves praise today, as it was not easy managing the situation over such a long time with the break in the middle of the race, but they did an excellent job. We can now look forward to Valencia, where we should have some new parts on the car aimed at improving our performance.”