Drivers quotes after Suzuka 2012 – Toro Rosso & Marussia F1
Scuderia Toro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo: “It was an eventful race. Immediately at the start, I got bogged down a little bit, but then going up through the gears I found more drive, but I’d lost a position to Hulkenberg. Then, with the incident that later brought out the Safety Car, I managed to make up some places. I saw Alonso spin off in front of me and it was a close call, as quite a few of us were close to getting caught up in the accident. I managed to get around it and got past Grosjean going into Turn 3. From then on, I had a pretty good race, staying with Maldonado at first, but could not pass him. The last two stints were good, at first having a battle with Webber who was on a different strategy. Then right at the end, I was holding off Michael and I was really pleased to have won that battle. It’s always tougher when you are the slower car in a duel, but with good advice from the pit wall on how to use the KERS to defend in the DRS zone, I managed it. Our work rate as a team has improved and I’m very pleased with the way I drove under pressure. It’s not every day you have a seven times world champion on your tail and given he only has a few more races, it was nice to have a battle with him to put in my scrapbook!”
Jean-Eric Vergne: “I made a good start, but in general, it could have been a better race for me, as I lost a lot of time behind Kovalainen in the first stint, as he was on the Option and had better traction out of the corners than I did. Also, at the second corner, I came across Rosberg going backwards in front of me and I had to brake, which meant everyone went past me. After that, I just pushed as hard as I could, showing what the car could do, running a strong pace. Losing three places on the grid with a penalty did not help, but yet again we showed we can be strong on Sunday, as we were faster than the Force Indias and Senna. Now I only have to wait a few days to try again in Korea, where I first drove on Friday morning for Toro Rosso last year. In general, this has been an enjoyable weekend and I’m already looking forward to racing here again next year.”
Timo Glock: “I’m very happy to say it was a good race for us today. The start was quite a shock when I saw all the cars flying across the track. Heikki came through it quite well but I was right behind him and I was able to overtake him in the Esses. I was up to P11 but I knew that would be short-lived because we were struggling a bit with traction out of the last corner and obviously they have KERS and we don’t. Heikki got past and I continued to lose quite a lot of time in that corner afterwards – three or four tenths each lap into turn 1 and the Esses – which allowed the other guys – who also have KERS – to pass me. In general though we had good pace and were quite consistent. The behaviour of the tyre to the car was very good and we were able to stay out quite long. The first pitstop was very strong – the fourth quickest team of the race – so a great job by the crew as they work so hard on that every day.
I had good pace on the prime tyre and was going well, but at last pit stop I was a little long in the box having misjudged the grip, so my mistake and sorry for that. I was then able to close the gap to Heikki so our strategy was spot-on. We were as close as four seconds at one stage but the blue flags opened the gap again. Still, eight seconds away at the end was pretty good! We have to be happy I think. We fought well, the car was a lot of fun to drive and it’s great to have a consistent car again. We continue to have better pace in the race, so we will keep working hard on our overall performance and enjoying this very positive final phase of the season.”
Charles Pic: “Obviously it is disappointing for me to have to retire as we were coming back strong at that point in the race. It is also the first retirement for a while. The start was difficult as we had to avoid the trouble at the first corner, then on the first stint I was struggling for grip with the Hard tyre. This improved when I switched to the Soft tyre for the second stint. My race was going well and I was behind Timo and ahead of Vitaly and Pedro. Unfortunately I misjudged the pit box on my second stop, going quite long, and lost a lot of time. Shortly afterwards I had to stop due to a problem with the engine. Overall it has been a good weekend and I have enjoyed my first experience of this amazing technical circuit. I look forward to another new circuit for me next weekend and a better result.”
Info & Images: Scuderia Toro Rosso / Red Bull and Marussia F1 Team