July 7th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Toro Rosso failed to score a point at the German Grand Prix, the first time neither car has finished in the top ten since the Bahrain Grand Prix back in April. It was a disappointing result for the team, as the pace that helped Daniel Ricciardo to a sixth place grid position was not present in the race and he struggled to 12th by the end of the Grand Prix.
For Jean-Eric Vergne, the race was over on lap 23 when a hydraulic problem forced him to retire. Vergne expressed his disappointment after the race, saying, "There’s not much to say today, because after not having a good pace all weekend, today there was no change. I found the car very difficult to drive right from the start, then there was the moment at my pit stop, when I had to brake hard to avoid Di Resta who was released from his pit right in front of me, which cost me more time. On lap 23 the team told me they had spotted a fault with the hydraulics and called me in to retire. It’s extremely disappointing, as this is my second consecutive race retirement. A weekend to forget.”
Oddly, the stewards opted to investigate the pit-lane incident with Di Resta after the race, instead of considering a penalty for the Force India driver during the event. In the end, it made no difference to Vergne's result, but he certainly did lose time avoiding the Force India in the pitlane.
Ricciardo offered no excuses for the poor performance of his Toro Rosso in the race, merely explaining that he suffered from a lack of grip. With the battle on for the second race seat at Red Bull in 2014, Ricciardo was looking for another good result after scoring points at Silverstone last weekend. But the car simply did not have the pace to fight for points at the Nurburgring. Ricciardo said after the race:
“A frustrating and rather dull race for me. After the start, I was able to hold position on the Option, but once we pitted for the Prime tyre, I really struggled for pace and couldn’t push as hard as I wanted to in order to get more out of the car. I did try to push more, but the car wouldn’t take it and I began to lock the brakes and slide too much, as I didn’t have enough grip. This meant I had to drive more smoothly, but it was very frustrating going round and round, gradually slipping backwards. I can’t explain why for now, so we will need to look at the data to see why we were just too slow for much of the weekend.”