Jaime Alguersuari said he was delighted with his second straight points finish after coming through the field to finish eighth in the European Grand Prix.
The Spaniard had only managed 18th on the grid in Valencia after being knocked out in Q1 but elected to gamble on a two-stop strategy in the race while most of the field deciding to stop on three occasions.
The decision allowed Alguersuari to fight his way up the pack and despite struggling with his tyres late on, was able to see off the challenge of Adrian Sutil through the closing laps of the race.
“I am very happy with this result, especially after I only qualified in eighteenth place,” he said. “It definitely paid off to concentrate on race set-up. This was a fantastic race and I want to thank my mechanics who worked so hard after the problems we had with my car on Friday during Free Practice. So this result is a reward I am happy to give them.
“Even though I still struggle to get the best out of the tyres in qualifying, I feel I now have a much better understanding of how to use them in the race and that's definitely the best way round as the points are only given out after the race! We were able to run at a consistent pace all afternoon, which was the key to this result and it's the first time this season that I have had this feeling from the car and I am happy about that.
“Apart from working well with the tyres, I think the updates the team brought here were also a contributing factor, as they worked well and that partly explains why my pace was really good.”
Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost was quick to praise his driver and the team for the gamble on two stops, even if Sebastien Buemi in the sister car was unable to score after electing to run a three-stop strategy.
“I think in future we should sit out qualifying and just save the tyres for the race!” he quipped. “But seriously, today the team did a fantastic job opting for a two-stop strategy for Alguersuari, making him the only points finisher to do this. Jaime demonstrated he can deliver a strong race drive, getting a good start and then running at a fast pace from the early stages onwards. Particularly impressive was the way he defended his position in the final laps. It was another fantastic performance just two weeks after he also finished eighth in Canada. In general, his performance curve is going upwards so we can expect more races like this from him in the future.
“As for Buemi, he was on a different strategy, based on three stops. Unfortunately, he was unable to get the most out of his short stints, even though he was doing similar lap times to Alguersuari in the early stages. In terms of the championship, the team has done a good job as we finished ahead of our closest rivals, Force India and Sauber, closing the gap very slightly to the Swiss team.
“I must also congratulate everyone who has worked so hard back in Faenza and Bicester, because we had many new parts on the car this weekend and this package definitely worked well, which means we can look forward to this busy period of another three races in four weeks with optimism.”