You would have to be a high-risk gambler to put money on the Scuderia Toro Rosso duo both coming home in the points at the end of the 70 lap Hungarian Grand Prix, especially with Sébastien Buemi starting from the back row with his grid position. But that’s exactly how things turned out as Sébastien finished eighth and Jaime tenth, bringing home five very valuable points in the Constructors’ Championship, where we continue to maintain eighth place.
Today’s eleventh round of the World Championship was another example of just how much the arrival of Pirelli tyres has spiced up the action. The Hungaroring race would often look more like a parade of expensive high-tech motor cars than a race, but today we were treated to a fantastic display with plenty of scraps throughout the field, from front to back, many of them so enthralling they were more reminiscent of a Formula Ford championship final than a Grand Prix. It helped that the wonderful European summer we experienced at Silverstone and then last week at the Nurburgring, seems to have followed us to Budapest as race day dawned damp and the track was wet enough for all 24 cars to start on intermediate rain tyres.
Even Sébastien is not too sure how he got from twenty third on the grid to twelfth by the end of the opening lap, with Jaime moving up two slots to fourteenth, locked in battle with Petrov, Buemi and Barrichello ahead of him. The two Toros were ninth and tenth after Jaime passed his team-mate on lap 12 and the Spaniard had got as high as eighth prior to the last of his three tyre stops on lap 47. Our Swiss driver also three stopped but his last one came four laps earlier and that allowed him to climb stealthily up the order to finish eighth, while Jaime had a tougher time, fighting Barrichello before climbing up to ninth. On lap 60, the two Toro Rossos came up to pass Kobayashi in the Sauber, but while Buemi squeezed through cleanly at the first corner, Jaime and the Japanese driver collided – let’s not apportion any blame – and this dropped our Catalan racer to tenth which is where he finished the race ten laps later.
The expression “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” springs to mind, as on Saturday night in the Energy Station, we cut a 100th GP cake to celebrate this landmark date and it’s fair to say that twenty fours later we ate it too. It was a great result for the drivers and also for the team: several more famous names than ours did not get their strategy worked out that well, with some drivers mistakenly switching to intermediates at some point late in the race when a few drops of rain returned. And with our two drivers getting very excited over the car-to-pit radio when things were not always going to plan, their race engineers sounded so calm, one has to wonder if they really are Italian!
It was a day for anniversaries as Jenson Button took the win for McLaren on the day he celebrated taking part in his two hundredth Formula 1 Grand Prix, while Nico Rosberg, who split our two boys in ninth place has an F1 career that started on the same day as Toro Rosso’s one hundred races ago. Sharing the podium with the Englishman was Sebastian Vettel, second for Red Bull Racing and Fernando Alonso, third for Ferrari.