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Toro Rosso: In the points with a new chief technology officer

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Toro Rosso
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N Toro Rosso had no points for nine times in a row. But since the summer break, the Red Bull junior team has been running smoothly. In the last five Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne have scored four points, two times even as a double. In Korea, too, both cars made it into the top ten.

As usual, Ricciardo and Vergne were on the verge of falling through the grate in Q1. But as always, the Toro Rosso drivers tied the knot in the race. 'Our weakness is the qualification,' admits Ricciardo.

Vergne and Ricciardo catch up

Toro Rosso started from 16th and 21st with alternative strategies the race. Vergne was trimmed for minimal downforce and therefore the king of the first sector. With 324.5 km /h he clearly led the top speed rankings.

He started on the harder tire, switched to the harder one again and drove the last 17 laps with the supersoft rubbers. Even so, the lap times were surprisingly quick. The Frenchman drove the eighth fastest race lap. 'Although I was on the road with less downforce, we were able to control the degradation of the tires well.'

Daniel Ricciardo had chosen a little more downforce, but was still number two on the straight. Compared to Vergne, the Australian lost six km /h at top speed. Ricciardo had to start the race from 21st place due to a gear change, caused by a sheared drive shaft in qualifying.

But already after two laps he appeared in 15th place behind team-mate Vergne. Then a well-timed and record-breaking pit stop brought him up to eleventh place. Only McLaren (Hamilton) and Mercedes (Schumacher) handled their drivers faster than the Toro Rosso crew during the series of first pit stops.

Ricciardo with technical bad luck in the final

With Ricciardo, Toro Rosso chose the standard tactic: soft-soft-supersoft. The Australian was in a safe eighth place when ten laps before the end there was a defect on the front right brake: 'I almost flew off when braking into Turn 3, so the car pulled to the left,' reports Ricciardo.

'I had to fight with the problem to the end. I lost a second and a half per lap and couldn't defend myself against my team-mate. That's a bit frustrating, because the third stint was my best in terms of speed. Me had theTires kept in good shape and could keep up with Grosjean's speed. Fortunately, Lewis also got a problem in the end, so I was able to at least save ninth place. '

James Key as the key to success

Striking is that the soaring of Toro Rosso coincides with the hiring of the new technical director James Key. Key was introduced to the public in Spa. He replaced Giorgio Ascanelli. The coincidence may or may not be a coincidence. Key has already worked with Force India and It was clearly shown that he has a lucky hand with his decisions.

The final sprint of the Toro Rosso is also related to the fact that you no longer blindly develop new parts that only cause confusion, but try the car better Force India is getting stronger with the same tactics. The only visible developments at Toro Rosso in the last races were a modified rear wing and new brake drums. As Sebastian Vettel said in Korea: 'Sometimes you win more time with the right setups on the car than with new parts. '

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