Sun: Toro Rosso, Sauber, McLaren, Manor

Date published: October 9 2016

McLaren duo Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button failed to keep up their good run in the points as they both finished outside the points in Suzuka.

Toro Rosso:
Daniil Kvyat:
“A P13 was the maximum we could do today, I really don’t think we could’ve done much better. Nothing extraordinary happened today, there were no Safety Car periods or retirements, so we didn’t gain any positions that way either. Our straight-line speed is just nowhere, which is very unfortunate, but there’s not much more we can do, we’re just too slow. On the positive side, I feel better in the car race after race and our team work is constantly improving, so we will go on doing our best to finish the season knowing that we couldn’t have done more!”

Carlos Sainz: “A very disappointing race for me today. Even if we started well, managing to get past both Williams and enjoying a good race pace during the first stint, that all changed after the first pit-stop. We then dropped behind the two McLarens and from that point onwards our race was over, as we were just not able to overtake because of our low top-speed… It was just impossible! I can assure you I tried my best, but today we couldn’t do more than this. It’s a frustrating situation to be in but we won’t give up. We will now get ready for the next races where hopefully we can be a bit stronger – rainy Sundays would also help!”

Sauber:
Marcus Ericsson:
“For me it was a decent race. My start was not too bad, and I gained one position moving up to P17. My first stint on the medium tyres was also ok, as I was hanging on to Jolyon (Palmer) ahead of me. Overall, I believe we chose the right strategy. Finishing in P15 is a better result compared to my starting position (P18). We still need to find more pace to fight for points.”

Felipe Nasr: “A disappointing race after an overall difficult weekend. The first stint on hard tyres was ok. I braked a bit too late into Turn 11, which caused me to flat spot the tyres. That forced me to pit a bit earlier than originally planned. When I then came in for the pit stop, I lost some time when pulling out as the clutch did not seem ready to disengage. The gap to the group ahead increased, as some blue flags also compromised my race pace.”

McLaren:
Fernando Alonso:
“Our race today reflected the whole weekend: it was just anonymous. To finish 16th and 18th today is a rather nasty surprise, especially after finishing seventh in Singapore, and seventh and ninth in Malaysia, just last weekend. I hope this was an exceptional and unique event, and that we’ll return to business as usual at the next race, in Austin. It was clear that the layout of the track didn’t suit our package – we lacked downforce through the faster corners. I know our car is in fact much more competitive than we were able to show today, and I’m obviously disappointed about putting on such a poor show at Honda’s home race. But we’ll head back home, analyse what happened, and bounce back from this disappointment.”

Jenson Button: “I made a poor start – the [power unit] components in the back of the car were all-new, so I got massive wheelspin and was therefore somewhat left behind on the start-line. Then it was really difficult to get past the Manors – they’d started the race on the Option tyre, and I was on the Back-Up, so it was hard to make a move stick. I eventually got past them though and, despite racing with the backmarkers, I still had some fun out there – a few little battles – but we were a long way behind the points-scorers. It’s been a very tough weekend – it’s a shame that Suzuka is our bogey track because it’s our second home. Still, we have to take the rough with the smooth: we haven’t been quick here, but we hope to be quicker at the next race.”

Manor:
Esteban Ocon: “Well, we struggled a bit with the pace but I think we had a better strategy this time. A few more laps and I think I could have got close enough to Esteban Gutierrez to pass him. We keep making progress, always getting closer to the competition, which is good. Now we need to take some time to have a good look at all the data we’ve gathered – where we’re missing something, where we can improve – but what I can do also. There are only four races left and they will pass by quickly, but also four races is a lot of opportunities to improve and we have a lot to fight for, still.”

Pascal Wehrlein: “It ended up being a really difficult race. We struggled with the pace, we struggled with the blue flags – struggled generally today. There isn’t much more to say than that. We’ve made some good steps and improved the car, so we just need to work with what we have to find more performance from the package and keep making that progress. We’re not far away, but that’s not where we want to be.”