Toro Rosso: Another blow for Buemi

2011 Abu Dhabi GP team review

Sebastien Buemi retired for third time in four races in Abu Dhabi.

Sebastien Buemi Jaime Alguersuari
Qualifying position 13 15
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’41.009 (-0.153) 1’41.162
Race position 15
Laps 19/55 54/55
Pit stops 0 2

Toro Rosso drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55
Sebastien Buemi 120.901 111.456 109.253 108.517 108.704 109.303 108.646 108.6 109.617 108.712 108.763 108.519 109.534 109.513 107.4 108.088 107.094 109.452 146.033
Jaime Alguersuari 121.827 111.789 110.788 110.556 108.792 108.63 108.961 108.787 108.479 108.587 108.613 109.471 108.619 108.905 110.525 153.271 109.425 110.175 109.085 108.348 107.897 108.33 109.344 110.015 109.298 107.924 107.542 107.681 107.493 109.119 110.893 108.237 107.725 108.893 127.109 104.678 105.399 104.995 104.58 104.629 105.226 105.495 105.177 105.338 104.92 104.095 104.093 105.707 104.852 104.651 104.73 104.979 106.827 104.434

Sebastien Buemi

Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Start tyre Soft

Yas Marina’s many slow corners did not flatter the STR6’s recent updates in the way India or Korea had. Buemi was the team’s highest qualifier, starting 13th.

He made several attempts to pass Paul di Resta in the first DRS zone early on in the race. Di Resta was repeatedly able to re-pass Buemi in the second DRS zone.

Eventually Di Resta ran wide at turn 11 have completed one of his re-passes, handing the place to Buemi.

But the Toro Rosso driver retired soon after. Buemi explained: “I had to retire because of a loss of fluid from the hydraulic system, which I first felt through the lack of power steering, as this is what makes the most demand on the hydraulics.

“After that, I could not change gear so there was nothing to do but bring the car into the pits and retire.”

This is his second consecutive retirement due to a technical problem and it comes at a critical time for the Toro Rosso drivers as Red Bull seek to promote Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne into F1.

Toro Rosso had previously said Vergne will drive in first practice at the next race in the car of whichever driver has the least points. Buemi has lost this contest partly due to his three retirements in the last four races, none of which were his fault.

Sebastien Buemi 2011 form guide

Jaime Alguersuari

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Medium 43.574s
Pit stop 2 Soft 21.363s

Buemi wasn’t the only Toro Rosso driver to suffer some misfortune – a slow pit stopped spoiled Alguersuari’s race, costing him around 24 seconds and dropping him to last place.

He was handed a time penalty after the race for failing to observe blue flags, though it made no difference to his finishing position, 15th.

Jaime Alguersuari 2011 form guide

Jean-Eric Vergne

Drove Buemi’s car in first practice.

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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22 comments on Toro Rosso: Another blow for Buemi

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th November 2011, 12:09

    Drove Buemi’s car in first practice.

    Looks like he’ll be driving Buemi’s car in Sao Paulo, too – Toro Rosso have said that Buemi will replace “whoever have the least points” at the time.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 14th November 2011, 15:52

      I think this will be unfair. The only reason why Buemi has less points that Jaime is because of technical problems. He had has to retired in India, Japan and now in Abu Dhabi.

      Thats just unfair for the poor guy.

      • I couldnt agree more. You could see his disappointment in India after such a great qualifying and scything through the pack. Here he was in 10th position (inherited by the sauber, unfortunately) and after this retirement he knew he would be out of the car next friday due to the third driver (JEV?) taking the seat of the driver with the least points and also this hurts STR for the constructors. He was crying in the pits – and for good reason too. He is the better driver of the two and has really had bad luck when he needed good luck the most.

        • celeste (@celeste) said on 14th November 2011, 18:32

          I agree, I wouldn´t be happy with Toro Rosso if they take away Buemi´s sit. Who si gonna get it? Jean-Eric Vergne?

        • marco_ferrari said on 15th November 2011, 7:38

          He is maybe the slightly faster driver, but not better… Speed isn t everything, Lewis can talk about it… Buemi s problems are psychological, he is mentally weaker then Alguersuari… And the Swiss had a lot of luck in first part of the season scoring 3 cheap points in Melbourne after DSQ of Saubers… Also Monaco and Canada points were also not really deserved… In the whole season he didn t pull a race like Alguersuari in Valencia finishing 8th while NOBODY retired… So, it is just about making excuses…

          • celeste (@celeste) said on 15th November 2011, 22:25

            @marco_ferrari I will be weak in my mind if everytime I´m doing fine in a race aI have a technical failure…

  2. Girts (@girts) said on 14th November 2011, 12:13

    Buemi has really had too much bad luck in the last races. F1 can sometimes be so unfair. I really hope he manages to get some points in Brazil. I would be happy to see him ending his season on a high and ensuring a race seat for 2012.

  3. marco_ferrari said on 14th November 2011, 12:29

    The first pitstop of Jaime was so horrible… :(
    A wasted opportunity as he was driving 23 seconds ahead of Kobayashi on lap 15… A nice battle for 10th place would have been possible… So reaching the top10 is now an unrealistic goal… I hope he can at least overtake Kobayashi in the standings, which was my personal target…

  4. Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 14th November 2011, 13:21

    What a shame for Buemi. he looked really upset almost as if he was going to cry,.. he probably did…

  5. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 14th November 2011, 14:43

    Such a shame as I was really looking forward to both Toro Rosso cars moving up the field with their massive straight line speed.

  6. UKFan (@) said on 14th November 2011, 15:29

    Buemi was never a fan favourite but since mid last season he really captured my attention, in 2011 until the mid way point of the season he drove much better than Alguersuari, but he wasnt able to pull a big gap on the scoring tables because of the lack of performance by Toro Rosso, since Toro Rossos new upgrades, new front wing and new diffuser, they’ve been as competitive as in 09, those upgrades were a major factor on the improvement by Alguersuari which has scored quite consistently (apart from Abu Dhabi) on the other side Buemi like Keith said

    Buemi has lost this contest partly due to his three retirements in the last four races, none of which were his fault.

    In my view his bad luck is the only reason why he is behind Jaime, anyway this will only be an excuse to drop Buemi because he isnt the Red Bull kind of guy and of Cepsa investment.

  7. Toro Rosso had previously said Vergne will drive in first practice at the next race in the car of whichever driver has the least points.

    This is not only wrong because it takes track time away from a struggling driver (as he has less points than his team mate), but is also a sign that the driver with fewer points (Buemi, through no fault of his own) will be ignored and substituted for FP1 and, probably, for 2012.

    • Well to be fair, I think that statement was made before Buemi had his string of bad luck retirements. So all things being equal, they made that policy based on which driver would presumably be performing the best in the races so as not to appear biased.

      However, as we know now, it is unfortunately Buemi who will sit out through no fault of his own. I think he will still have a strong race, as he is a strong driver when it comes to overtaking (at least stronger than Algersuari) and in Brazil he should have some good opportunities to overtake given the STR’s top speed advantage down the back straight.

      • marco_ferrari said on 15th November 2011, 8:55

        “he is a strong driver when it comes to overtaking (at least stronger than Algersuari)”

        Any evidence?

        Here are some overtaking data from 2010: /counted only overtakings of 18 drivers from established teams except Lotus, Virgin and HRT

        Most overtakes:

        01 Hamilton 28
        02 Sutil 25
        03 Alonso 22
        04 Webber 18
        05 Vettel 17
        06 Massa 17
        07 Liuzzi 15
        08 Alguersuari 14
        09 Kobayashi 13
        10 Button 12
        11 De La Rosa 11
        12 Barrichello 11
        13 Rosberg 11
        14 Petrov 10
        15 Buemi 10
        16 Kubica 10
        17 Schumacher 10
        18 Hulkenberg 5
        19 Glock 5
        20 Kovalainen 5
        21 Trulli 4
        22 Heidfeld 3

        In a season without DRS Buemi was behind Alguersuari in terms of overtakings… The data is from cliptheapex website…

        I have not followed the data in 2011, so if you have some you can share them… But I do followed the Buemi-Alguersuari battle very closely and when they were fighting wheel to wheell doring the race (not first lap) it ended 3:1 for the Spaniard…

        Monaco – ALG passed BUE
        Great Britain – BUE passed ALG, ALG passed BUE
        Hungary – ALG passed BUE

        The one who was under intense pressure lately was Buemi so he need to overtake more… Alguersuari did exactly the same around Valencia, so he is definitely able to overtake, too…

    • xxiinophobia (@xxiinophobia) said on 15th November 2011, 0:53

      @fixy Agreed. If Buemi leaves the sport because of this it will be a travesty. I don’t believe he or Alguersuari to be championship material, but both are certainly good enough to deserve F1 drives.

  8. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 15th November 2011, 12:57

    Sad to see both Torro Rosso drivers suffer have bad luck. It is a bit easier to like Alguesuari for me, but I do think both are doing pretty well, and Buemi did have a string of bad luck now.

    But as they are both doing well, and as Red Bull wants to be able to try new drivers, it means a difficult choice at the end of the year no matter how it falls out. Does Alguesuari deserve the seat less than Buemi? I wouldn’t be able to say honestly.

  9. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 15th November 2011, 13:37

    Biggest disappointment of the race for me. The team let their drivers down. I can’t imagine anyone in Red Bull would seriously consider giving either driver the boot based on a lacklustre points finish due to technical problems. Buemi should have nothing to worry about.

    It was really confusing to see Buemie stuck behind Di Resta so much. Clearly double DRS didn;t do him any favours but did he not try and wait it out in activation zone 1 in order to pounce in zone 2?

  10. tasimana said on 18th November 2011, 8:12

    Its ridiculous to say Ricciardo has done nothing when he’s in the worst car in the field. If Red Bull is fair dinkum one of Alguseri, Buemi, or Ricciardo will take over from Webber in 2013.

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