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GP Week : Issue 186
A weekend of lost opportunities befell Toro Rosso after the prospect of another strong points haul disappeared with handling and reliability issues affecting both drivers. Yet another top ten qualifying position for Daniel Ricciardo had the Faenza squad beaming on Saturday, but while the Australian racer was able to fight with Force India and Sauber, in the subsequent scrap all parties were undercut by the two-stopping McLarens of Button and Perez. “A frustrating and rather dull race for me,” said a downbeat Ricciardo. “After the start, I was able to hold position on the Option, but once we pitted for the Prime tyre, I really struggled for pace and couldn’t push as hard as I wanted to in order to get more out of the car. “I did try to push more, but the car wouldn’t take it and I began to lock the brakes and slide too much, as I didn’t have enough grip. This meant I had to drive more smoothly, but it was very frustrating going round and round, gradually slipping backwards.” Given the improvements achieved through extensive debriefings after Canada, the lack of pace on the medium compound was a complete mystery to Ricciardo. “I can’t explain why for now,” he said. “We will need to look at the data to see why we were just too slow for much of the weekend.” Jean-Eric Vergne fared even worse than his teammate. After being passed by the Carterham of Giedo van der Garde and narrowly avoiding a pit lane incident, the Frenchman’s race ended on lap 23 with hydraulic issues. “There’s not much to say today,” Vergne said. “I found the car very difficult to drive right from the start, then there was the moment at my pit stop, when I had to brake hard to avoid di Resta who was released from his pit right in front of me, which cost me more time. On lap 23 the team told me they had spotted a fault with the hydraulics and called me in to retire. It’s extremely disappointing, as this is my second consecutive race retirement. A weekend to forget.” With the mid-season break fast approaching, Toro Rosso have historically taken the opportunity to make ground on teams winding back development as they look towards next season. This year will be no exception if the team hopes to capitalize on their early – albeit sporadic – success. Toro sees Rosso 32 GPWEEK.com // 32 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> GERMANY