Sebastian Vettel was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons at Fuji last weekend after crashing into the back of Mark Webber.
But he more than made amends for the blunder with a clinical drive to fourth from 17th on the grid in tricky conditions.
It’s the best finish for the team since Toro Rosso took over from Minardi in 2006. The last time a Minardi finished fourth was Christian Fittipaldi in the 1993 South African Grand Prix.
The team has never finished on the podium, having now taken four fourth places since it was formed in 1985. It contested 340 races as Minardi and, since then, 34 as Toro Rosso.
It was a result earned by both driver and team, whose judicious pit work meant Vettel was the only leading driver to make just one pit stop on a day of mixed conditions.
It’s also the best result for 20 year-old Vettel in his seventh Grand Prix. He finished eighth on his Grand Prix debut for BMW at Indianapolis.
He had a mixed weekend up until that point. First his ten-place grid penalty for the collision at Fuji was rescinded, then he picked up a five-place penalty during qualifying for impeding Heikki Kovalainen, leaving him 17th.
Team mate Liuzzi started 11th and finished sixth, which was also his best result to date, and leaps Toro Rosso up from last in the constructors’ championship to seventh.
Photo: GEPA / Bildagentur Kraeling’
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