Toro Rosso ‘disappointed’ after losing out to Sauber
29 November 2011
Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastian Buemi completed Sunday's Brazilian GP in eleventh and twelfth positions, thus missing out on helping on their team grab seventh in the F1 constructors' table.
Despite the whirlwind of momentum Toro Rosso seemed the build up heading into the final part of the season, the team failed to leap frog rivals Sauber in the constructors' standings.
The Faenza-based team had also looked set to make inroads in Force India's sixth position a few races ago, but a recent failure to turn pace into points has seen the challenge dwindle away.
Algersuari admitted his race was difficult right from the outset, with his Toro Rosso struggling to adapt to the softer tyre, with the resultant lack of grip ultimately hurting his traction out of the slower corners – severely compromising his middle sector. His race pace did improve once the medium compound was fitted, but the Spaniardstill remains at a loss as to where his former pace had gone.
“I was struggling a lot to follow Buemi and Perez," he said, "The second stint on the harder tyre was much better, but it's hard to understand in general why we seem to have lost performance in the last two races.
"Overall, I am happy to finish the season on 26 points whereas last year I had only five, so hopefully I can continue this improvement by doing better next year.”
Team-mate Buemi's afternoon was much the same story. The Swiss had bargained on the weather throwing a spanner in the works and had subsequently set his car up with this in mind. However, the rain failed to appear, which left the Toro Rosso struggling with balance all afternoon as an apparent 'overgrippy' set up began to hurt his Pirellis.
Buemi remained disappointed with the result but was pleased with his own personal performance.
“Of course, we were hoping to score points today, but we were not competitive enough," he said, "I got a good start, passing Jaime and Barrichello but, after that, I soon suffered with tyre degradation, partly because we did not have the best set-up for these conditions. In terms of my own performance, I feel I did the best I could, although I am disappointed we could not get ahead of Sauber, but that's racing.
"Overall, the season has not been too bad and I had some good races, but I lost points with various mishaps and problems. The team has worked well, but we need to improve still further next year if we want to do better than this.”
Although achieving the initial target of finishing eighth in the constructors' table, team principal Franz Tost reiterated his drivers' disappointment after missing the opportunity of increased prize money, which remains crucial in funding development on next year's car.
“At the start of the season, we set ourselves the target of finishing at least eighth in the constructors' championship and that is where we have finished, 36 points ahead of those in ninth place," he reflected, "However, having come so close to challenging for seventh place when we picked up a significant number of points in Korea and India, we cannot be happy with missing out on overtaking the team ahead of us, failing to score in the last two races.
"Work is already well underway on our next year's car and as from tomorrow, the entire team's focus switches to 2012.”
Interestingly, both Alguersuari and Buemi spoke as if they would be retutning to Faenza next season, reinforcing rumours that Red Bull protege Daniel Ricciardo could be a target for Caterham F1 in 2012.
by Simon Evans