April 6th, 2014 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Toro Rosso had a tough weekend in Bahrain, after a relatively strong start to the season in Australia and Malaysia. Today, for the first time in 2014, neither Toro Rosso driver finished in the points. Daniil Kvyat finished 11th, just under 8 seconds behind Kimi Raikkonen, while Jean-Eric Vergne retired due to floor and rear wing damage caused by first lap contact.
The race result is Toro Rosso's worst of the season thus far, and follows their worst qualifying result of 2014. On Saturday, neither Toro Rosso driver made it into the top ten, putting them on the back foot before the race had even begun.
In the race, Daniil Kvyat struggled for pace and could do no better than 11th place. He found he did not have sufficient pace to defend against many of the other drivers who seemed to pass him easily. Kvyat was certainly not alone in his struggles - almost all of the Renault-powered drivers felt a lack of straight-line speed.
In Vergne's case, the race was effectively over shortly after it started. Contact with a Lotus on the first lap damaged the floor and rear wing of his Toro Rosso, which meant he had a significant loss of aerodynamic grip. Vergne was able to continue after the incident, but the loss of performance was enough to force him into retirement.
Here's what the Toro Rosso drivers had to say after the race:
Daniil Kvyat: “Unfortunately today didn’t go as I would have liked. I was not happy with our pace and it was frustrating to see the other cars just passing me by. The start was a little bit messy and I lost a position. From then on I tried to push as much as possible, but it wasn’t enough to get into the points today. We will now have to analyze carefully what went wrong today and hopefully we will come back stronger at the next race in China.”
Jean-Eric Vergne: “It was a bit of a mess at the start in turn 8 with a lot of cars around me, but while the others were having a poor exit I had a clean one on the outside. When I then found myself next to a Lotus, I got squeezed more and more and when he realized I was about to overtake him anyway, he just closed the door. That is why our wheels touched and my car took off, out of control. Both rear wing and floor got heavily damaged with a huge loss of aero performance and it was just not possible to continue my race. Hopefully bad luck will leave us alone for the next races.”