• Korean Grand Prix

Toro Rosso hails step forward

ESPN Staff
October 14, 2012 « 'We just don't have the speed' - Raikkonen | Massa decision to come 'very soon' - Domenicali »
Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo picked their way through the field on Sunday © Sutton Images
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Toro Rosso believes it has made a step forward with its car after both drivers finished in the points at the Korean Grand Prix.

The team has scored points at four of the last five races after nine grands prix in the middle of the season without a top-ten finish. In Korea, Daniel Ricciardo came from 21st on the grid to ninth while team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne finished eighth.

"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," team principal Franz Tost said. "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.

"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."

Vergne said it was his best performance of the year.

"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. I did not take too many risks at the start and I had a nice fight with Perez in the early stages and then with Di Resta and also Hamilton. Dan and I were on different strategies and both seemed to be effective. 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."

Ricciardo explained that he had a problem towards the end of the race which meant he lost a position to Vergne.

"With about ten laps to go I found myself going straight on at turn three 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."