Jean-Eric Vergne (STR7-03 - Race finish: 8th): “I am really really happy, as this was definitely my best race of the year and the car worked well with very little tyre degradation on both the Prime and the Option.
Hamilton. Dan and I were on different strategies and both seemed to be effective.
Towards the end, I was told that my team-mate had a problem, but overall for the team, to get eighth and ninth with Daniel also driving a great race is a fantastic result.
Everyone in the team worked very hard on improving the car throughout the weekend. In general, we seem to be making progress and this track seemed to suit us well, which I think we can also expect to be the case in India.
The best part of the race? Seeing the chequered flag in the points!”
Daniel Ricciardo (STR7-04 - Race finish: 9th): “I got a good start and made up a couple of positions on the opening lap. After that, I got into a really good rhythm and was able to pick off cars ahead of me one by one.
Jev was in front and as he got past a car, I was able to follow him through. The second stint also saw us jump a few cars, getting ahead of Schumacher and Force India.
Then my last stint on the Prime was my best until, with about ten laps to go, I found myself going straight on at Turn 3 and at first I thought it must have been a suspension failure because the car suddenly shot to the left and I could not stop it.
However, I realised I could keep going, even if every time I braked the car pulled to the left and I was locking the front a lot. Unfortunately, that cost me eighth place, but at least I was able to give it up to my team-mate.
I’m still grateful to be in the points with such a problem, although it’s a case of mixed emotions, as it would have been my best result of the season. But for the team overall, it’s been a very good day.”
Franz Tost: “This matches our previous best performance of the season in Belgium, when we also finished eighth and ninth with Jean-Eric and Daniel in that order.
We are definitely improving in this second half of the season and it is the third time in the last four races that we have finished in the points. I would rate this as our strongest performance of the year.
We improved the car from Friday onwards, eventually adopting a very effective set-up on both cars, that saw us perform well in Q1 on Saturday, before running into difficulties in Q2.
However, this afternoon, both drivers were able to show the true performance level of the car, combined with a good strategy – both drivers on a two stop, with Daniel starting on the Option and Jean-Eric on the Prime.
Towards the end of the race, Daniel, who had come up to eighth place from 21st on the grid because of his gearbox penalty, reported over the radio that his car was pulling to the left, which meant Jean-Eric was able to get past him in the closing stages.
We were helped in fighting off Hamilton by the fact his car was slowed when it picked up some of the artificial turf from the side of the track.
It was a very strong performance from the whole team, as can be seen from the fact that our drivers passed no fewer than six cars, more than any other team did this afternoon. Now we can look forward to continuing this positive trend in India in a fortnight.”
Source: Scuderia Toro Rosso