Toro Rosso will head to Abu Dhabi with reason to be positive after Daniel Ricciardo brought home a well-earned point to end the team’s scoreless streak, which stretched all the way back to the Italian Grand Prix in early September.
The Faenza-based squad have struggled over the course of the recent flyaway races, suffering a number of reliability issues, as well as dropping behind the resurgent Sauber team to eight in the constructors’ championship.
Ricciardo, who ran as high as third during his long first stint on the medium tyres, was pleased to have ended the team’s series of pointless weekends, coming home in a solid 10th.
However, the 26-year-old insisted that more points could have been on offer, had he been able to clear the two Force India’s of Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil, who he had found himself stuck behind after completing his final stop.
“I am pretty pleased with today’s performance, even if during the race I thought we were looking better than a tenth place finish, especially after the first stint went well and the pace was looking good.
“It seemed as though we could have matched Sutil and Di Resta, so there’s a little bit of disappointment about the fact I couldn’t get past them and get a couple more points.
“Generally, I am pleased with what I did in the car and now we move on to Abu Dhabi, where we have a lot of support, so I hope we can give them a good result next Sunday.
On the topic of the recently crowned quadruple champion Sebastian Vettel, who will be his team-mate as he is promoted to the senior Red Bull Racing squad for 2014, the Australian said: “Vettel? Phenomenal! Particularly since the summer break, when he grabbed the title and never let anyone else look at it.”
In contrast, Jean-Eric Vergne, in the sister Toro Rosso, was left feeling disappointed after his promising strategy failed to materialise into points, which extends the Frenchman’s run without a top-ten finish to nine races, stretching back to the Canadian Grand Prix.
“I think the strategy we had was a good one, coming in very early to get rid of the Soft tyre. It could have paid off to the extent of getting into the points, but we were just too slow, even though we did everything we could.
“I just couldn’t do better today, so of course I am disappointed, because making up one place from my grid position is not really enough.”
“At least we only have a few days to wait before trying again in Abu Dhabi.”
As with his team-mate, Vergne was equally congratulatory to Sebastian Vettel, who sealed his fourth championship with a win in India.
“Vettel? What he’s done is something truly special, so congratulations.”
Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost, who oversaw Sebastian Vettel’s time at the Italian team between 2007-2008, added similar sentiments to those of his drivers on the 26-year-olds achievement.
Courtesy of Pirelli Media