Toro Rosso report from the Brazilian Grand Prix, Round 20 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Interlagos, Sao Paulo.
P2. Pierre Gasly: “This is just incredible! My first podium in Formula 1 and with Toro Rosso. I kept working every race on myself, I always thought that if I could be in the right place at the right time something will come, and today it happened, it’s just amazing – I have so many emotions!
“I’ve always said the team is my Italian family, I love their spirit and passion, they always push like hell and today was the best present I could give back to thank them for their massive constant effort. You dream a lot about being in F1, you dream about your first podium, but then when it happens all of the emotions coming through me are just unpredictable, it’s just the best day of my life right now. I want to send a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me since the start of my career and have gotten me to where I am today.”
P10. Daniil Kvyat: “Starting from P16 I knew it wasn’t going to be easy today. There not much to say, it was a difficult race until my safety car restart on the last lap, as I was able to overtake three cars, getting at least one point. It’s the second podium for Toro Rosso this year and I think we are the only midfield team who achieved that, so we can be really pleased with our effort. We scored many points today, taking back the sixth position in the Championship. Today’s result is a great achievement for the team.”
Claudio Balestri, Chief Engineer: “What a Race! This is a great day for Toro Rosso and Honda. It’s thanks to a fantastic team effort here at the track, in our Operations Rooms in Faenza, Bicester and in Sakura that we could achieve such an amazing result together – the second step of the podium! Today we didn’t make any mistakes; we had a good start, good pace during the whole race, we managed our tyres when the track temperatures were very high, especially at the start. Pierre drove impeccably and was able to keep Lewis (Hamilton) behind in an incredible last lap, finishing his race P2. Amazing!
“As for Dany, his race was a bit more difficult, having to fight with all the other cars around, but he was able to finish the race in P10, bringing another point to the team. Now we will go to Abu Dhabi on a high and ready to fight again. Fifth position in the Constructors’ Championship is not unreachable.”
Franz Tost, Team Principal: “It was a fantastic race today, especially for the spectators as the safety car periods really made it a show, very exciting. Toro Rosso, Honda and Pierre Gasly together showed a fantastic performance. Pierre was competitive straight away, from Friday onwards, and he showed great pace again yesterday in Qualifying, where he finished the session in P7.
“He started from P6 on the grid (due to LEC’s penalty) and he had a good start to the race, with a very clever first stint in managing his Option tyres and avoided overheating. On his first pit stop, he changed to the Prime tyre and he had even better pace than expected, and then on the last set of Options he already had a five-second advantage over the others.
“He reacted well to Kimi Raikkonen’s challenge because he was able to pick up the pace and go a couple of tenths faster to hold his position – this was very impressive as he was able to do this without overdriving and overheating the tyres. It was a great drive from him, so he really deserves his second-place finish. Ferrari and the others have certainly helped, but Pierre anyhow had the pace to finish in P5 or P6 without these collisions, and today he drove his best race at Toro Rosso.
“Daniil’s race was much more difficult, but he was able to score a point. It was tricky for him on the Prime tyres because it took a long time to get t hem into the ideal working range, and it was the same for a few of our competitors as well. On Options it was much better, and I think that without the safety car he could have had a chance to finish further ahead. Having said this, we are still happy with the point he scored as it also helped reclaiming the sixth position in the Constructors’ Championship.
“I also want to congratulate Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Max, for their amazing victory. We are looking forward to Abu Dhabi now, where we still have a chance to fight for an even better position. Let’s hope we can find a good setup and put everything together for the last race of this season.”