Jean-Eric Vergne may have scored Scuderia Toro Rosso’s first point of the 2013 season in Malaysia, but the French driver believes that he could have fared better during the race.
“It’s good to finish in the points, but it’s a shame that a mistake in the pits cost us so much, as I could have done something better.
“Overall, I feel rather frusttrated, but I’ll take the point gladly.”
Vergne claimed P10 following Esteban Gutierrez’s late pit stop, and the Toro Rosso managed to stave off pressure from Valtteri Bottas in the final stages of the race. However, Vergne is looking to move on from the race and focus on the Chinese Grand Prix in three weeks’ time.
“We now have a short break before we go racing again and we must use that time to take a close look at how we performed and where we can do better, because there is certainly a lot of room for improvement.”
Vergne’s qualifying form has been questionable, failing to reach Q2 in Malaysia whilst his teammate Daniel Ricciardo managed to qualify an impressive 13th. However, Vergne got the better of his teammate in the race, and this was the one positive the Frenchman took out of the weekend.
“Once we got over our problems I had a good race pace and managed to make up a lot of places.”
Toro Rosso will be pleased with how they have started the season, especially given how McLaren and Williams have struggled. Vergne’s belief that the team can improve is proof that the Faenza-based team have the potential to better their haul of 26 points from 2012, and perhaps challenge their midfield rivals more intensely this season.
While the top story coming out of Sunday’s IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas is undoubtedly 18-year-old Colton Herta’s victory in only his third IndyCar start, another teenager made quite some noise during the first IndyCar race at the facility.
19-year-old Patricio O’Ward made an impressive start to his 2019 IndyCar campaign by starting and finishing in eighth position. It was the first of his 13 races this season for Carlin Racing.
“I think it was a pretty good race for us. We ended exactly where we started and didn’t go backwards, so I’d say that was a successful day” O’Ward said. “I know the No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet had a top-five finish in it today and even though we couldn’t make it happen, it’s nice to know that we have the pace and can be fighting up front with the veteran drivers.”
O’Ward, the 2018 Indy Lights champ, made his series debut for Harding Steinbrenner Racing at last year’s season finale at Sonoma Raceway, where he made it to the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying and finished ninth. O’Ward was scheduled to race for the team full-time in 2019, but left in early February to pursue other options due to a lack of sponsorship.
Pato found a new home with Carlin, and despite missing preseason testing, he proved to be competitive from the get go and pressured some of IndyCar’s more tenured drivers, including Graham Rahal.
In what was undoubtedly the most daring move of the race, O’Ward ended a great battle with Rahal by hitting a superb outside pass on Lap 15.
O’Ward may have likely earned a better result on Sunday, if he didn’t have to save fuel in order to make the finish.
But with only two IndyCar starts to his credit, he is already racing like a seasoned veteran. Sunday’s IndyCar Classic may be the first of many successful outings for him this year.
After the race, he tweeted to his team: “Well done gentlemen … This is only the beginning.”
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