Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari has had an excellent few months for Toro Rosso. He’s had a good run of points finishes despite starting at the back or, as in Canada, at the back in the pitlane. He also recorded his first visit to Q3 at the Chinese Grand Prix. Today he went one better, qualifying sixth in a rain affected session. Here’s what he had to say afterwards.
So Jaime, what’s the secret today?
JA: There are so many things to say about that! Firstly I think that we have been competitive in the wet and in intermediate conditions all weekend. Secondly I think the car has improved. I think the aerodynamic department has done a great job because they brought a new DRS that seems to work really well and this, I think, gave us a bit of the performance. Thirdly I would say we would never have qualified in that position if it had been completely dry.
Is the STR DRS following the Red Bull Racing philosophy of being better in qualifying and accepting of some performance loss during the race?
JA: Yes. We will suffer a bit in the race if it’s held in dry conditions but it will give us a plus in qualifying – which is what we wanted. We knew we weren’t lacking for pace in the race because we’ve scored points. What we lack is performance is qualifying, and we’ve been starting too far back on the grid. Today is an extreme case: I start sixth here, but I don’t think it will be like this next weekend [at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza] or for the rest of the season, but even if we’re starting 12th or 13th, we’ll still able to get in the points.
'The target is to both be in front of the Virgins – that’s usually seen as a pretty good result' Click here to find out how Daniel Ricciardo is getting on at HRT
Are strong performances important to secure your future?
JA: The situation today is a bit special. It’s not going to be like this every weekend. We need to be happy today. I’m very happy with how the season is going. I’ve done my maximum, there is nothing else. I’m still learning a lot in Formula One and Toro Rosso is improving as a team. We are now in our second year of running without assistance from Red Bull Technology, and days like this are very important for us.
I think both [Sébastien] Buemi and myself have done a really good job because while we’ve always qualified around 17th-18th, we have 22 points and we’re in front of Williams, who are a bigger team than us and more experienced.
I think we’re doing a really good job. It would be amazing to finish the season in front of Force India – that would be really crazy. Every time I step into the car I try to do my best. Hopefully one day with Toro Rosso and the Red Bull family, I can be at the front and I can win some races and become a world champion – that would be crazy too – but that’s the dream.
Is the STR6 particularly suited to this kind of track?
JA: I don’t think so. I think when we go to the higher downforce circuits we will be a little bit faster but it’s difficult to say as every track has its own compromises. I think Monza will be difficult because Force India will be very fast there, but I think we can still score points.
Are your performances this year being reflected in greater recognition around the F1 paddock?
JA: My intention is that I want to be the best at my job, just like everybody else. One day I want to be the best at my job, with the best car and the best team, I’m not here to just be 17th – 18th every weekend. I want to win. I do think I’m getting more respect but that’s not my ambition. My intention is to become a better driver.