Toro Rosso: A day of mixed feelings

Toro Rosso report from qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix, Round 16 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Sochi Autodrome.

Pierre Gasly

  • Third Practice Session – Best lap: 1:34.564, pos. 11th, 16 laps
  • Qualifying – Best lap: (Q1) 1:34.456, (Q2) 1.33.950, pos. 11th
  • He will start from P16, due to a 5-place grid penalty

“It was so close today! I’m really happy with the lap I did, we knew it would be difficult to make it into the top 10 and we tried everything we could. I think it was one of my best laps for Toro Rosso in Q2 on my first run. I knew that on the second run I really needed to risk it if I wanted to improve, but I couldn’t manage to do it. Every weekend we’re making a step and I think it was a positive Qualifying. We will line up P16 with the engine penalty, but we still have free tyre choice, so we will see what we can do with the strategy. We’ll push flat out and hopefully we can come back through the field.”

Daniil Kvyat

  • Third Practice Session – Best lap: 1.36.081, pos. 19th, 4 laps
  • Qualifying – Best lap: no time, pos. 20th

“It hasn’t been a very smooth weekend so far, but the most important day is tomorrow. We knew we were going to start from the back but it’s still a shame to miss Qualifying in my home race. These things happen, we just need to accept it and try to do our best tomorrow for a strong race. I never give in, there’s still a chance to save this weekend. I’m a bit short on mileage because of the issues I’ve had, but I know the track, so I’ll try and find a good rhythm in the race.”

Claudio Balestri, Chief Engineer – Vehicle Performance: “Mixed feelings today. On Dany’s side of the garage, we had an issue on the PU at the start of FP3 and we were forced to change it. As the process requires quite a lot of time and having to start already from the back of the grid due to a previous engine change penalty, we decided not to rush the job and skip Qualifying – it wouldn’t have worsened our grid situation for tomorrow.

“As for Pierre, we were able to produce a good level of performance both in FP3 and Qualifying, especially in the first run of Q2. Unfortunately, that was not enough to progress to Q3. Due to the grid penalties, the race will not be an easy one, but the car showed some good pace during the long runs on Friday, so we will still try to do our best to score points tomorrow.”