Scuderia Toro Rosso secured one more point in the final race of the season, courtesy of Daniel Ricciardo’s tenth place. Jean-Eric Vergne crossed the line in fifteenth place.
We had been hoping for more after Saturday’s great qualifying performance saw him line up seventh on the grid, with team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne alongside him in eighth. However, our Achilles’ heel on many occasions struck both drivers again, as they got bogged down at the start and therefore inevitably got stuck in traffic.
The Australian dropped two places to ninth, but made it back to P8 pretty quickly, before Button passed him on lap 8 of the 71, while Jev plunged to fourteenth. Already complaining about the balance on his STR8 which of course, like all the cars had seen no dry track action until the start, Jev then made an early stop aimed at getting him out of traffic switching from Medium to Hard tyres, emerging in twenty first place.
Daniel came down the pit lane four laps later, had a very quick 2.5-second stop and found himself eighteenth. By lap 23, Daniel had worked his way back to eighth, while Jev was seventeenth, while on lap 26 the Aussie was again passed by Button. Jev made a further two trips down the pit lane, on laps 28 and 46, while Dan, whose pace had picked up considerably managed to look after his tyres well enough to just come in once more on lap 42, staging something of a recovery for the final point on offer today.
Like many teams, we were hoping for rain today, but the weather gods simply teased us, producing just enough precipitation to spot camera lenses and driver visors, but nothing that required anything remotely like a rain tyre. It looked very briefly as though the final Grand Prix of the season might actually produce a race for the win, instead of a Vettel parade, but an early challenge from Rosberg in the Mercedes soon faded and Alonso’s temporary tenure of second spot was soon dealt with by Mark Webber who finished his F1 career in style, finishing second in the Red Bull ahead of his Ferrari friend.
The result has little effect on the Championships, with the team ending the year in eighth place, 28 points ahead of the rest, but 24 behind seventh placed Sauber. As for the drivers, Ricciardo ended the year in 14th spot on 20 points, seven more than his team-mate who is right behind him on the chart.