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GP Week : Issue 191
Brake issues brought an end to Toro Rosso’s hopes of a Korean points haul, with Daniel Ricciardo stopping on track and Jean-eric Vergne retiring in the pits shortly afterwards. Ricciardo was running in a solid ninth place before the first run of pit stops and managed to extend his tyre life until lap 18, at which point he pitted from fourth. In the closing stages of Sunday’s race the future Red Bull driver was defending against the gaining Ferrari of Felipe Massa when trouble struck. Heading into Turn 3, Ricciardo’s STR8 pulled suddenly to the left under heavy braking in what appeared to be a repeat of Toro Rosso’s issues during the closing stages of last year’s Korean Grand Prix. But on climbing out of the car Ricciardo noticed a front caliper and brake duct hanging off the front-left assembly. “I think we did all we could today in the race,” he said. “ T he car wasn’t perfect but it was good enough to be in a points position with a few laps to go. It’s déjà vu, as I had the same scenario here last year, when I came down to Turn 3 with a few laps to go, I braked and the car immediately shot to the left. Once I got out of the cockpit this time, I could see there was a mechanical problem at the front left corner.” It was the same story with teammate Vergne, and the team were quick to enter damage control mode as soon as the Frenchman radioed in to report that he was suffering similar issues to those that had plagued Ricciardo before he was forced to retire. “At the moment, we’re not quite sure what happened in the end,” Vergne told reporters. “I felt the car pull to one side and something was clearly not right, so the team called me into the pits.” The double retirement allowed rivals Sauber to match Toro Rosso’s constructors’ haul; the teams now have 31 points apiece, with the Swiss racers’ higher finishes keeping them ahead of the Faenza team in the official standings. Dem's de brakes 35 GPWEEK.com // 35 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> KOREA