There was disappointment in the Toro Rosso camp on Sunday afternoon after the team saw both Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat retire with exhaust issues.
With Vergne and Kvyat starting seventh and ninth on the grid, following Toro Rosso’s best ever qualifying result in Monaco, the team had looked good for points early in the race with the pair both comfortably running in the top ten.
But the team lost its first car after just 10 laps, with Kvyat parking his STR9 in the garage with a terminal failure, the Russian having dropped like a stone through the field as he struggled to bring his car home.
The Russian rookie, who has already scored points on three occasions this season, had – aside from one heart-stopping moment in Q1 when he lost control at the exit of the tunnel – excelled around the streets of Monte Carlo, on what was the 20-year-old’s first ever visit to the principality.
Vergne’s race too soon unfolded, the Frenchman slapped with a drive-through penalty after a near-miss with Kevin Magnussen McLaren as he exited the pits at the opening round of the stops, in what was about as clear-cut an example of an unsafe release as you are likely to see.
He was soon in for his drive-through, rejoining behind compatriot Jules Bianchi in 12th. Vergne harried the Marussia man – who would go on to score both his and the teams first points in F1 – but it would ultimately all be in vain as on lap 50 smoke billowed out of the rear of the Toro Rosso.
The Frenchman, like his team-mate earlier, limped back to the pits, but both he, and Toro Rosso’s race was over. It is Vergne’s fourth retirement in just six races this season, and his fifth without a point.
With Lotus collecting four points courtesy of Romain Grosjean, Toro Rosso have slipped behind the Enstone-based outfit to eighth in the constructors’ championship, owing to Grosjean’s better finishing record, two eighth place finishes in contrast to just the one for Vergne, achieved in Australia.
The team will look to move forward in Canada, where Vergne scored a career best finish of sixth in 2013.
Images courtesy of Octane Photographic