Toro Rosso Honda picked up more world championship points after a strong race from the back of the grid in the United States Grand Prix. With both cars taking slightly modified power units this weekend, Pierre and Brendon lined up in 19th and 20th respectively in Austin. After a chaotic opening lap, a one-stop strategy saw Brendon able to climb nine positions from his grid slot to cross the line in 11th place, and he was later promoted to ninth after disqualifications for two cars ahead. The team opted to split strategies when there was an early Virtual Safety Car period and Pierre was on a two-stop strategy that didn’t result in him making quite as much progress, but he still gained five places compared to his starting position to originally finish 14th before being promoted to 12th by the post-race penalties. The power unit performed reliably throughout the race, allowing both drivers to fight back through the field from their starting positions.
Another difficult weekend. Our pace was respectable in qualifying, but we were unable to reproduce it in race conditions. Brendon had a good race going from the back row of the grid to eleventh, after which, thanks to decisions from the Stewards we have scored two points. However, we must keep working to improve our performance.
It was a long and difficult Sunday. Starting from P19 we knew it would be a difficult race. We took some debris after the chaotic first lap and that damaged the floor a bit, after that I was just trying to do everything I could from inside the car, but there was a massive loss of grip for the rest of the race. We decided for a two stop strategy but there wasn’t much we could do today. The pace over one lap in Qualifying was really good so there’s positives to take away from the weekend. It’s just a shame we couldn’t fight properly this time, but I’m really hoping we can carry the pace into Mexico and have a clean Qualifying there to get a good result for the team.
Really happy with my performance and race today which was rewarded with two points. I was aggressive when I needed to be and did a good job with tyres, the team gave me good info from the pits and the mechanics did a good pit stop - a team effort! From last on the grid to P9 was the max we could do today, and I’m happy with the aggression I showed and how the race went. Even if the points haven’t come, I have been very strong in all the last races and am very motivated and optimistic for the rest of the season and beyond.