The Toro Rosso team had a rather difficult race in China, contrasting to its performance in Bahrain a week earlier. Its drivers Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley even crashed and the New Zealander could not finish the race.
“It was a difficult weekend for us overall because we never found the pace since Saturday morning”, Gasly said. “We knew the race would be difficult after the performance we had in qualifying and the car was quite tricky. Things didn’t really work out for us, so we have plenty to analyse between the two weekends and try to understand why we were fast in Bahrain and why we struggled in Shanghai.”
“I apologise to Brendon for the contact we had, the team told me that they were going to switch our positions so I went on the inside of the back straight thinking he would give me space. Unfortunately, I don’t think he saw me and once I was on the inside there was nothing I could do. We lost a lot of time after that, I broke my front wing and the steering bent at the end of the race, so it was really difficult to drive and we couldn’t do much from there. We have some work to do to get ready for Baku, it’s a track I know and like so I’m looking forward to getting there.”
Difficult weekend, and tough race. Had contact with Brendon, team told us to swap positions in T14 as we were on different strategies, so I expected Brendon to give me room, but he didn’t see me. Let’s move on. Baku next. ?
Congrats to @danielricciardo for the win, grande!! ? pic.twitter.com/Z6eUubfRpe
— Pierre Gasly ?? (@PierreGASLY) April 15, 2018
The Toro Rosso team had a rather difficult race in China, contrasting to its performance in Bahrain a week earlier
Hartley also said it was a tough day for him and explained that he had no grip on the ultrasofts at the beginning.
“So that compromised our strategy. Starting near the back of the grid we tried alternating strategies to give us a better chance but unfortunately, that didn’t work. I think the accident with Pierre was down to a miscommunication. The team asked us to swap positions because we were on completely different strategies, so I was going to let him by on the exit of Turn 14 like I did at the start of the race. The second time we had to change positions I planned to do the same but I got hit from behind at the apex. Then towards the end of the race, I had to retire because the team saw an issue with the gearbox. In the end, it was a long afternoon.”