Jaime Alguersuari reckons he was capable of scoring 'many points' in the Belgian Grand Prix, although ultimately he walked away without having completed a single lap after being ploughed into by Bruno Senna's Lotus Renault.
Alguersuari went into the twelfth round of the F1 2011 World Championship off the back of his best-ever qualifying performance and starting from sixth, he was determined to try and add to his tally.
Sadly though, it wasn't to be and the Toro Rosso
man was sidelined at the very first corner, Senna's Lotus Renault
pushing him into the Ferrari
of Fernando Alonso, which in turn broke the STR6's front suspension.
“I don't want to speak badly about any other driver as it's not my style, but I think the situation was quite clear to everyone,” Alguersuari said. “Going into the hairpin after the start, I was in the middle with Senna on my inside and Fernando on my outside and Senna completely missed his braking point and hit me which pushed me into the path of the Ferrari.”
Despite the early exit though, Alguersuari was encouraged by the pace of his car this weekend and added that he is convinced they can score in Italy in two weeks time: “There are many positive things we can take out of this weekend, as we clearly had a car capable of scoring many points, which is a tribute to all the hard work of the team,” he continued.
“I feel sorry for the guys, because starting sixth on the grid is not an everyday occurrence for us. But now I am looking forward to the next race in Monza, as I see no reason why we cannot be competitive there and score more points.”
Team-mate Sebastien Buemi
meanwhile also had a disappointing afternoon and he was forced out on lap 6, after Sauber's Sergio Perez went into the back of him.
“I got a great start, moving up from eleventh on the grid to sixth after the first corner, which was fantastic. I was able to follow the pace of [Fernando] Alonso and [Lewis] Hamilton. Then [though] Perez tried to pass me and simply drove into the back of me, which completed destroyed my rear wing and I had no option but to bring the car back to the pits to retire,” Buemi said. “I really can't understand what he was doing, as I was clearly ahead of him: it was as though he just forgot to brake.”
“Both our drivers had very short races, before being knocked out in incidents that were not their fault, a view supported by the race officials, who penalised Senna and Perez for the collisions with Jaime and Sebastien respectively. Of course, this is very disappointing given our strong showing in qualifying, which meant we were hoping to score a good number of points today,” added team principal Franz Tost.
“However, on the positive side, both our drivers performed very well throughout the weekend and all the updates introduced on the STR6 appear to have delivered an increase in performance.
“Given all the hard work completed over the past few weeks prior to the break, in the factory at Faenza and the wind tunnel in Bicester, I think everyone at Scuderia Toro Rosso
deserved a better reward than to see both cars go out of the race so early. However, our pace here was very encouraging and means we can look forward to trying again in two weeks time, for what is our home race at Monza,” Tost summed-up.