NO LIGHT IN THE NIGHT
April 19, 2015
A difficult weekend didn't hold a happy ending for Scuderia Toro Rosso, here in the Bahrain desert where the team made it's debut on the F1 stage a decade ago.
The highpoint had been Carlos Sainz making it through to Q3 on Saturday, to start the race from ninth place this evening, but even before the Spaniard lined up on the grid there were problems, as he was given a 5 second time penalty for exceeding the maximum time allowed for completing his pre-grid laps. In the end though it wouldn't make any difference, as he parked his STR10 at the side of the track having completed 30 laps with a problem that, at the time of writing, the team is still looking into.
As for Max Verstappen, he started from fourteenth and made a very early pit stop for a set of Medium tyres on lap 6, which dropped him down the order. A second stop followed on lap 30, but five laps later, it was all over for the Dutchman when his car slowed with a suspected electrical problem and retirement in the garage soon followed.
Lewis Hamilton took his third win from four starts this season, but Mercedes did not have it all their own way. While the Englishman was never challenged out in front, his team-mate had to battle hard with the two Ferraris. After Sebastian Vettel had to come in for a new nose, it was Kimi Raikkonen who was the quickest of the two red cars today, taking the fight to Nico Rosberg, passing the Mercedes in the closing stages to take second place, his first podium finish of the season.
So that's the first part of the season completed with four races a long way from home. In three weeks time the action resumes with the first leg of Formula 1's European season. The Catalunya circuit, home to much of winter testing hosts the Spanish Grand Prix on 10th May.
Our drivers will have a busy time before Carlos' home race. Apart from all the usual duties, with meetings in the factory and working in the simulator, Sainz is giving a talk at a university in Rome as part of the Red Bull on Stage programme which sees university students get the chance to work in our Faenza factory as interns. As for Verstappen, he is heading to Austria's Red Bull Ring next weekend to attend the Red Bull Kart Fight World Final, which will crown the best amateur kart racer in the world.
Max Verstappen (STR10-03, Car 33)
ďIt hasnít been a positive day. It was a tough race. We still donít know the exact reason for the retirement, but it looks like an electrical issue made us end our race before time. Obviously this is not the way we would like to finish our weekend but we have to stay positive. Iím disappointed, but we will carry on working as hard as always in order to come back stronger in Barcelona and fight for points again. Thatís where we belong!Ē
Carlos Sainz (STR10-04, Car 55)
ďQuite a disappointing day today for all of us, especially after such a good qualifying yesterday. I donít know what happened to my car today, I just know that I felt something weird with its behaviour and I was forced to stop. I canít hide the fact that Iím upset because we had a very good starting grid position but we suffered from a lack of pace today. Weíll do our best to be in good shape for the start of the European season in Barcelona, a race which will be very special for me as I will be racing at home.Ē