Jaime Alguersuari has quipped that he 'would like to start even further back on the grid' in Singapore after charging from 18th position at the start of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza to seventh at the chequered flag – the fourth time this season that he has converted a Q1 exit into race day points.
Four times in the last seven grands prix, Alguersuari has fallen at the first hurdle in qualifying and wound up 18th on the grid; on each of those occasions, 24 hours later he has scythed his way through the field into the points, although seventh place at Monza marked his best result yet – and best, indeed, of his entire career. Little wonder the Spaniard was smiling once the chequered flag had fallen.
“I am very happy with my race,” the 21-year-old enthused. “I think I would like to start even further back on the grid for the next one, because it seems that whenever I have a poor grid position, I finish in the points! I am also very pleased for the team, as they got both cars home in the points.
“I am a bit surprised at the way the car performance came good on Sunday in the race, because I did not expect to be quicker than Force India and Sauber. Getting this great result at our home race also makes it extra-special. We need to keep on working like this and try to improve our qualifying performance on Saturday. If we do that, I think we can finish in the points on a regular basis.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso team-mate Sébastien Buemi made it cause for a double celebration for the Red Bull 'junior' outfit by coming in tenth, albeit ruing a knock at the first corner in the Vitantonio Liuzzi-instigated mêlée
that had left him nursing damage to his STR6. The Swiss ace yielded ninth spot to Lotus Renault GP rival Bruno Senna barely a handful of laps from home.
“I am a bit disappointed with the way the race panned out,” he mused. “I made a very good start, but then when an HRT triggered a big accident, I took a knock at the back of my car and it was definitely damaged in some way, as it did not work at its maximum potential from then on.
“If that had not happened, maybe I could have finished ninth or eighth, but while tenth is therefore a bit disappointing – losing out to Senna right at the end, when he was on the soft tyre and I was on the medium – it's time to look ahead and think about doing better in two weeks' time in Singapore.”
“Our home track always appears to be a lucky one for us, because we seem to finish regularly in the points here at Monza,” summarised the small Faenza-based squad's team principal Franz Tost. “Jaime's seventh-place finish was the best result of his F1 career and the team's best so far this season, and it was a good result overall as we got both cars home in the points, with Sébastien tenth past the flag. The points we got see us close the gap to both Force India and Sauber in the constructors' championship.
“Jaime drove an excellent race, making up eleven places from his grid position. He was especially quick on his second set of tyres, putting in one fastest lap after another. Sébastien was lucky to finish the race, after being involved in a collision when he clipped another car with the left rear tyre.
“Well done to the entire team, who delivered a good strategy and executed it well during the race. This was a good way to end the European leg of the season, and I am now looking forward to seeing if we can continue like this in the remaining six races of the championship.”