It has been a torrid weekend for Toro Rosso, forced to sit out of most of Friday with punctures which had to be investigated and curtailed much needed running.
The form flowed through into qualifying, with the team not making it out of the first part of qualifying for the first time this season, the worst being Carlos Sainz who will be starting on the back row of the grid. With compromises made just to get him on the circuit, those compromises had a direct effect on the performance.
The Spaniard said after qualifying, “Honestly, it’s being a very tough last two days here in Abu Dhabi, which is a bit painful as I really wanted to finish the season with a clean weekend and enjoy myself.
“The team has struggled to solve the problem regarding the rear of the car and, because of this, we haven’t had much track time unfortunately. We’re working hard and every time we do a change on the car it seems to be positive – the team has done a great job since yesterday.
“Obviously, this has conditioned our set-up and we’ve not had much time to develop it or get used to the track – something which is not ideal when you’re preparing for a race.
“Tomorrow we are starting from very back on the grid but let’s see what we can do – I will definitely try and enjoy it, hope for no reliability concerns and follow a good strategy. Let’s go for it!”
Teammate Daniil Kvyat got slightly more out of the car and will start from 17th.