Pastor grabs his first point of 2014 on track, gets doubled afterwards
There were points achieved in Austin for Pastor in the United States Grand Prix with the Venezuelan finishing in ninth position on track, as he grabbed his first points of 2014 by overcoming the midfield battle while also benefiting from a post-race penalty to Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne.
Ninth and the points came about for Pastor when Vergne collided with Romain’s E22 late on in the race, ending an almost certain double top ten finish for the team despite the five seconds added to the Toro Rosso driver’s time.
It was all guns blazing across the grid at the start as Pastor was on full alert to avoid the race’s early collision. A safety car followed and saw both drivers take advantage as Pastor rose to eighth and Romain tenth.
The excitement continued when the race resumed and the E22’s marked improvement saw both drivers dicing with the usual front runners of Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari.
Despite the duo showcasing their talents, Pastor’s pace was disrupted. Several drivers were found to have been speeding under the safety car with the Venezuelan one of the unlucky few to be punished with a five second penalty.
As he fell back, Romain climbed and reached as high as fifth before settling in eighth at the halfway mark.
The team looked good for the first points finish since Barcelona, but there was a chance for a double as Pastor surged back into contention late on.
With few laps remaining it looked set to be the highest points return of the season, yet Romain was dealt a cruel blow. After overcoming McLaren’s Jenson Button and defending well from Vergne, the Toro Rosso driver hit the side of the Frenchman’s E22 and damaged the car.
“Fighting with JB was very very tight but definitely good fun,” Romain said. “It was less amusing with Jean-Eric though, he broke my front wing and he broke my rear floor which made the car pretty difficult to drive afterwards. I wasn’t very happy about that as the incident cost me P8. On the plus side, it’s good to be back in the points with Pastor, it’s just a shame not to have been there too.”
Battling the difficulties, he impressively finished just short of the points taking eleventh. Ahead of him, Pastor overcame a post-race five second penalty as his eventual ninth place became tenth.
It was a great fight from the very beginning; it felt good, the strategy was good and the car pace was surprisingly good,” said Pastor. “We were fully focused, keeping the pace and managing the tyres. Let’s keep pushing like that; I think we can do a good job in the next two races.”
With the brace of E22s having now scored points in the season, Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi praised the hard work of the Enstone team.