Pierre Gasly says Toro Rosso are at a loss to understand why they were so uncompetitive in the Singapore Grand Prix.
His seventh place finish in Monaco and sixth in Hungary gave the team cause for optimism about their potential on another slow track last weekend. But the team were never in contention for points.
“Honestly we need to take more time to have a look because it’s difficult to understand why we were that much slower,” he said.
“The last two weekends were much better than we thought, so we had pretty good hopes for this weekend at Singapore and finally we were much slower than we thought so I think we need to review everything and understand a bit more.”
Gasly suspects there was more than one reason why the STR13 didn’t perform as expected. “We saw in qualifying, with the wind conditions, I had a big loss of downforce through the corners.
“So there are many, many things that we need to understand because at the moment we don’t really have the answers.”
He hoped to be in with a chance of a points finish after gaining places on lap one. “We did look good after the start,” he admitted. “We went from 15th to 12th, overtaking both Saubers and with the crash [between the Force Indias] getting one more position.
“So at that time I thought ‘okay, if we have the pace or a good strategy we might be able to’. Then we gambled with the Hyper Softs on the first stint but in the end there was much more degradation than we expected. After 15 or 16 laps I started to struggle massively. We went to 25 laps, it was really tough at the end.
“After with the ultra-softs we got involved in all the mess with [Sergey] Sirotkin, blue flags, and lost about 15 or 20 seconds there which really compromised the race. We didn’t have the pace all weekend to fight inside the top 10.”
Gasly added he was frustrated by some of the radio messages he received during the race. “When you are fighting and you are told ‘okay, save the engine, save the fuel, save the tyres, but go get Grosjean in front’, it’s like either you let me push, or…
“At first we didn’t have the pace, so either you give me the full potential to attack. You cannot save everything and expect me to overtake a Haas with more performance. At that time I knew we were quite fast, it was a bit difficult to realise that the race was more-or-less gone. So it was difficult.”
Will Wood contributed to this article.
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