Having looked quick on Friday the Toro Rosso drivers paid the price of not doing second runs in Q2, dropping out of the top ten.
Technical director Giorgio Ascanelli said: “We looked good in Friday’s FP1, but then we had to back-pedal on performance as we had concerns over reliability with some of the new elements we were running here.
“But today, we did not get it right and it was not a good performance, neither in how we engineered the session, nor in our capacity to produce a good lap time. With hindsight, possibly we should have given Sebastien [Buemi] another set of tyres and sent him out again at the end of Q2.”
It failed to pay off as Jaime Alguersuari could do not better than 15th and his team mate posted the race’s only retirement.
|Sebastien Buemi||Jaime Alguersuari|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q2)||1’33.227 (-0.2)||1’33.427|
Toro Rosso drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
|Pit stop 1||Soft 21.849s|
Buemi started 15th but said there was much more performance in the car: “I made a mistake on the exit of turn nine, hitting the kerb a bit too hard which sent me off into the grass, costing me around half a second.
“I am disappointed about that because I?óÔé¼Ôäóve ended up behind the Williams, when we could easily have been ahead of them.”
More disappointment was to follow in the race. Having moved up four places at the start his race was ruined when he was released from the pits with his right-front wheel inadequately secured:
“I came out of the pits and already at the first corner, I felt some vibration and I saw that the right front wheel was beginning to move. It had not been properly fitted at the pit stop, I?óÔé¼Ôäóm not sure why and then it came off at turn four.
“There was no way I could drive back to the pits, so my race was over.”
|Pit stop 1||Soft 21.792s|
|Pit stop 2||Soft 22.584s|
Alguersuari played his usual long game on Saturday: “We could have had a much better qualifying in performance terms, but we had concentrated on the race in terms of our set-up and aero balance.
“Therefore, even if the grid position is not so good, I am quite happy because I feel that tomorrow I will have a car strong enough to score some points.”
These tactics have often served Algueruari well this year but it didn’t work out for him in Japan. Starting on medium tyres, he lost three places at the start and was then passed by Nico Rosberg, leaving him in 20th place.
His attempts to gain places were thwarted as he found himself repeatedly hitting the rev limiter. Still he was bemused at how another driver made better progress on a similar strategy: “I had more or less the same strategy as Perez, however he seemed to be one second a lap faster than me.”
He was passed by Pastor Maldonado on the final lap, finishing 15th.
2011 Japanese Grand Prix
- Rate the race result: 2011 Japanese GP
- Kobayashi greets the fans, Vettel does doughnuts: Suzuka videos
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- 2011 Japanese Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your Japanese Grand Prix driver of the weekend
- Red Bull: Conservative approach delivers Vettel’s title
- McLaren: Button pleased to win on ‘Red Bull track’
- Ferrari: Alonso edges Vettel for second
- Mercedes: Schumacher closes on Rosberg’s tally
- Renault: Petrov makes progress, Senna slips back
Image ?é?® Red Bull/Getty images