F1 News report of the China GP 2018 of Scuderia Toro Rosso

From delight to disappointment

April 17, 2018

Last Sunday's race was an unsatisfactory end to the opening trio of 2018 Grand Prix held over a four week period. To sum up our Chinese Grand Prix, it was a weekend when we didn't have a competitive package and the difficult weather conditions did not help to understand how to fix it properly.

Pierre opted to stay out a few days longer in the Middle East after the Bahrain race, while Brendon chose to spend some time downtown in Shanghai. For the rest of the team, it was a case of getting straight down to work at the Shanghai International Circuit. The second week of a back-to-back would normally be, but on this occasion we were still all running on the adrenaline of Pierre's great fourth place at the Sakhir desert track.

Friday practice was reasonably successful, but on Saturday, things took a turn for the worse: Pierre felt the set-up changes made to his STR13 were a step backwards, while the very cold conditions and strong winds didn't help matters. Pierre had never driven this track before – not to find an excuse, while Brendon has done hundreds of laps of Shanghai in his former life as an Endurance racer. Finding the right window of operation for the tyres and getting the car balanced proved tricky. That had a knock on effect for qualifying, which meant only Brendon progessed further than Q1.

2018 Chinese GP - Gallery


No matter how the weekend has gone, you always hope that an unusual set of circumstances might turn things around in the race, but on this particular Sunday, that was not to be. We just didn't have the pace and then came the moment any team dreads, when your two drivers collide. It was a misunderstanding, but a costly one, as Pierre's car was damaged and in the closing stages, we retired Brendon when the data showed up a gearbox issue. As part of the Red Bull family, we could at least be happy for our colleagues, as Daniel Ricciardo took an absolutely brilliant victory. The irony of this is that it was the Safety Car brought out as a result of the two Toro Rosso's colliding, that handed Red Bull Racing the opportunity to pull the tactical masterstroke that delivered the win.

Let's now focus on preparations for the Azerbaijan GP... there are still 18 more races to go...18 more opportunities for redemption.