Toyota drivers Sebastien Buemi, Nicolas Lapierre and Anthony Davidson say they feel an almost certain victory slipped from its grasp after being caught out by the sudden downpour that left it unable to capitalise on its pace.

Starting from pole position, Buemi produced a remarkable first stint in the #8 TS040 Hybrid to open up an advantage of 35secs, despite losing 10secs when he spun on increasingly worn rear tyres.

Holding onto the lead despite Audi's attempts to make up time by not changing tyres during the first stop, a sudden stormy downpour wreaked havoc on the leaders, including Lapierre, who found himself beached in the turn 11 gravel trap after aquaplaning off.

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Though the race was stopped whilst the storm passed and the car was allowed to rejoin, the trio would find themselves a lap down, a margin it couldn't recover despite reducing the lead margin from 3mins to just over a minute at the chequered flag.

That charge was enough to get the car back to third place, meaning Buemi, Davidson and Lapierre retain their lead in the drivers' standings by 11 points. However, all three drivers were convinced they had the pace to win and extend their lead in normal circumstances.

"I don't know what to say apart from that I'm really disappointed with what happened because it feels like we have thrown the win away," Buemi said. "For the championship it is not so bad, it is still a podium, but we cannot be happy with this because we had the fastest car yet we are only third and have lost some ground in the championship. It's like this but we will try to bounce back in Japan."

"Looking on the bright side, which you have to do when the result doesn't go your way, the good news is we had the fastest car," Davidson added. "We should have won, that was clear. Going forward, we have a car to fight for the championship. It is going to be tough but we are still ahead in the drivers' championship at least. We can only look forward and make sure we win as many race as we can from here on in."