Scuderia Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost has bemoaned the Italian team’s unreliable 2014 season to-date, while also praising the team’s drivers, Jean-Éric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat.
The team lost out on another points finish at last weekend’s German Grand Prix courtesy of yet another mechanically-induced retirement. This time it befell Kvyat, whose race came to a fiery end when his STR9 began belching flames out of its right-rear quarter. Vergne brought the sister car home, but cost himself a points’ finish by repeatedly exceeding the track’s limits, which earned him a five-second stop/go penalty in the pits from the FIA Stewards.
Delivering his mid-season review of the Faenza team’s performances, Tost described the season-to-date as a mix of highs and lows.
“The pure speed of the STR9 is at quite a high level and in some races, our performance was really good,” he said. “We immediately scored points with both cars in Melbourne and we were in the top ten again in Malaysia and China. Later in the first half we had a points finish in Canada and much more recently, we got both cars into the top ten at the British Grand Prix.”
While the team has managed more points finishes (seven) than it had mustered at the same stage of the previous season, reliability has cost it dearly. The team has had nine failures to finish so far – a total only beaten by Sauber, and some of theirs were driver-induced – including two double-DNFs at Monaco and Austria, where exhaust and braking issues sidelined both cars, respectively.
“We are not where we should be in terms of reliability. That is not good enough and it is something we must work on,” Tost put it bluntly.
“In mitigation, some of this lack of reliability stems from the fact that serious pre-season problems with the [Renault] power unit meant we were unable to complete many miles in winter testing. Effectively, we have encountered problems in races that normally would have been resolved before then.
“The solution is straightforward, we simply need to be more disciplined in order to avoid making further mistakes in the second half of the year. We need to sort out our reliability issues as soon as possible, so that we can finish in the points in the remaining races.”
Image via XPB Images