Toro Rosso: Very satisfied with the progress made

Toro Rosso report from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Round 21 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Yas Marina Circuit in the United Arab Emirates – the final race of the season.

Daniil Kvyat, P9: “Today was a nice way to finish the season. That first stint on the Base tyre was probably the best stint of my life, I pushed like there was no tomorrow! Every lap I was quicker than the cars around me and I had a great feeling with the car.

“It worked out exactly as we had planned it, our strategy was fantastic and we had a good setup for the race. Maybe we sacrificed Qualifying a bit yesterday but we managed to put everything together today. I felt I left something on the table in the last couple of races, so I wanted to close the season with a really good race, to finish the year the way I did is a great feeling.”

Pierre Gasly, P18: “I was really looking forward to the battle today. As Daniil was able to show, we had the pace and it could have been an exciting end to the season. Unfortunately, my race was over on the first lap when I got hit from behind and pushed into the car in front and my front wing broke.

“After the pit stop to replace it, I was one lap down and it is frustrating when you’re out there without being able to fight anyone, just hoping for a safety car. It’s a shame to end the last race of the season like this.”

Jody Egginton, Technical Director: “Today’s race has been unlucky for Pierre, who unfortunately had his front wing knocked off in a lap 1 incident, which effectively ended his race. Dany got his head down and was right in the midfield battle at the end of the race after an extremely strong first stint, scoring points and ending the season on a high.

“Looking back over the season, I think we can be very satisfied with the progress made as a team in what has been an incredible tight midfield group. The STR14 has shown itself to be competitive in the midfield pretty much all year and has responded well to the in-season development.

“Although there is always room for improvement, everyone in Faenza and Bicester should be pleased with their part in moving the team forward. The result of the hard work put in by everyone in Toro Rosso is Sixth Place in the Constructors’ Championship and this is a very well deserved, hard-earned result and the baseline on which we will build on in 2020.”

Franz Tost, Team Principal: “Coming to the last race of the year, we were 16 points ahead of Racing Point and 8 points behind Renault. Following a fantastic start, Pierre was beside a Racing Point when Stroll crashed into him, pushing him into Perez and damaging his front wing.

“Therefore, we had to call him in to change the nose, an operation which took unfortunately a lot of time because of the damaged screws. The pace during the race was really fantastic and I think Pierre could have possibly finished in seventh or eighth position without the accident. As for Daniil, he drove one of his strongest races of this year with us.

“He was very fast on the Base tyre and showed extremely competitive pace. We called him in on lap 40 to change to Primes and he was again very fast on that compound. Unfortunately, when he overtook Hulkenberg, his front wing got damaged and that’s the reason why he lost some performance in the last laps.

“This was the most successful season for Toro Rosso with two podium finishes, Daniil in Hockenheim and Pierre in Sao Paolo. We finished in sixth position in the Constructors’ Championship, only a few points behind the fifth.

“I want to thank Daniil and Pierre for their commitment and mature performances as well as everybody in the team for their fantastic work during the year, a massive effort from everybody in Faenza but also in Bicester, because the upgrades we got from the aero department worked very well.

“In addition, Honda’s developments along the year were impressive and all these factors together made it possible for us to be competitive until the end of the season. I want to say a big thank you to Honda, because they did an unbelievable job last winter to get ready for the season.

“Three races won with Red Bull Racing and two podiums with us make me feel confident that next year we can be even stronger and we are looking forward to 2020.”