Toro Rosso: Another blow for Buemi

2011 Abu Dhabi GP team review

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Sebastien Buemi retired for third time in four races in Abu Dhabi.

Sebastien BuemiJaime Alguersuari
Qualifying position1315
Qualifying time comparison (Q2)1’41.009 (-0.153)1’41.162
Race position15
Pit stops02

Toro Rosso drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

Sebastien Buemi120.901111.456109.253108.517108.704109.303108.646108.6109.617108.712108.763108.519109.534109.513107.4108.088107.094109.452146.033
Jaime Alguersuari121.827111.789110.788110.556108.792108.63108.961108.787108.479108.587108.613109.471108.619108.905110.525153.271109.425110.175109.085108.348107.897108.33109.344110.015109.298107.924107.542107.681107.493109.119110.893108.237107.725108.893127.109104.678105.399104.995104.58104.629105.226105.495105.177105.338104.92104.095104.093105.707104.852104.651104.73104.979106.827104.434

Sebastien Buemi

Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, Abu Dhabi, 2011
Start tyreSoft

Yas Marina’s many slow corners did not flatter the STR6’s recent updates in the way India or Korea had. Buemi was the team’s highest qualifier, starting 13th.

He made several attempts to pass Paul di Resta in the first DRS zone early on in the race. Di Resta was repeatedly able to re-pass Buemi in the second DRS zone.

Eventually Di Resta ran wide at turn 11 have completed one of his re-passes, handing the place to Buemi.

But the Toro Rosso driver retired soon after. Buemi explained: “I had to retire because of a loss of fluid from the hydraulic system, which I first felt through the lack of power steering, as this is what makes the most demand on the hydraulics.

“After that, I could not change gear so there was nothing to do but bring the car into the pits and retire.”

This is his second consecutive retirement due to a technical problem and it comes at a critical time for the Toro Rosso drivers as Red Bull seek to promote Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne into F1.

Toro Rosso had previously said Vergne will drive in first practice at the next race in the car of whichever driver has the least points. Buemi has lost this contest partly due to his three retirements in the last four races, none of which were his fault.

Sebastien Buemi 2011 form guide

Jaime Alguersuari

Start tyreSoft
Pit stop 1Medium 43.574s
Pit stop 2Soft 21.363s

Buemi wasn’t the only Toro Rosso driver to suffer some misfortune – a slow pit stopped spoiled Alguersuari’s race, costing him around 24 seconds and dropping him to last place.

He was handed a time penalty after the race for failing to observe blue flags, though it made no difference to his finishing position, 15th.

Jaime Alguersuari 2011 form guide

Jean-Eric Vergne

Drove Buemi’s car in first practice.

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    22 comments on “Toro Rosso: Another blow for Buemi”

    1. Drove Buemi’s car in first practice.

      Looks like he’ll be driving Buemi’s car in Sao Paulo, too – Toro Rosso have said that Buemi will replace “whoever have the least points” at the time.

      1. I think this will be unfair. The only reason why Buemi has less points that Jaime is because of technical problems. He had has to retired in India, Japan and now in Abu Dhabi.

        Thats just unfair for the poor guy.

        1. I couldnt agree more. You could see his disappointment in India after such a great qualifying and scything through the pack. Here he was in 10th position (inherited by the sauber, unfortunately) and after this retirement he knew he would be out of the car next friday due to the third driver (JEV?) taking the seat of the driver with the least points and also this hurts STR for the constructors. He was crying in the pits – and for good reason too. He is the better driver of the two and has really had bad luck when he needed good luck the most.

          1. I agree, I wouldn´t be happy with Toro Rosso if they take away Buemi´s sit. Who si gonna get it? Jean-Eric Vergne?

          2. He is maybe the slightly faster driver, but not better… Speed isn t everything, Lewis can talk about it… Buemi s problems are psychological, he is mentally weaker then Alguersuari… And the Swiss had a lot of luck in first part of the season scoring 3 cheap points in Melbourne after DSQ of Saubers… Also Monaco and Canada points were also not really deserved… In the whole season he didn t pull a race like Alguersuari in Valencia finishing 8th while NOBODY retired… So, it is just about making excuses…

            1. @marco_ferrari I will be weak in my mind if everytime I´m doing fine in a race aI have a technical failure…

    2. Buemi has really had too much bad luck in the last races. F1 can sometimes be so unfair. I really hope he manages to get some points in Brazil. I would be happy to see him ending his season on a high and ensuring a race seat for 2012.

    3. The first pitstop of Jaime was so horrible… :(
      A wasted opportunity as he was driving 23 seconds ahead of Kobayashi on lap 15… A nice battle for 10th place would have been possible… So reaching the top10 is now an unrealistic goal… I hope he can at least overtake Kobayashi in the standings, which was my personal target…

    4. What a shame for Buemi. he looked really upset almost as if he was going to cry,.. he probably did…

    5. Such a shame as I was really looking forward to both Toro Rosso cars moving up the field with their massive straight line speed.

      1. @Smifaye Ditto. I was pretty furious for Buemi when I saw him in the garage. Seems that the drivers were pretty capable but the team let them down in the garage and in the pits.

        1. @smifaye and @andrewtanner but don´t you think is really weird, I mean we are talking about Giorgio Ascanelli as Technical Director, he is not new and is a very capable man (He was Senna, the original, race Engineer). So is pretty weird that is only happening to Buemi.

          1. @Celeste I can only attribute it to bad luck.

    6. Buemi was never a fan favourite but since mid last season he really captured my attention, in 2011 until the mid way point of the season he drove much better than Alguersuari, but he wasnt able to pull a big gap on the scoring tables because of the lack of performance by Toro Rosso, since Toro Rossos new upgrades, new front wing and new diffuser, they’ve been as competitive as in 09, those upgrades were a major factor on the improvement by Alguersuari which has scored quite consistently (apart from Abu Dhabi) on the other side Buemi like Keith said

      Buemi has lost this contest partly due to his three retirements in the last four races, none of which were his fault.

      In my view his bad luck is the only reason why he is behind Jaime, anyway this will only be an excuse to drop Buemi because he isnt the Red Bull kind of guy and of Cepsa investment.

    7. Toro Rosso had previously said Vergne will drive in first practice at the next race in the car of whichever driver has the least points.

      This is not only wrong because it takes track time away from a struggling driver (as he has less points than his team mate), but is also a sign that the driver with fewer points (Buemi, through no fault of his own) will be ignored and substituted for FP1 and, probably, for 2012.

      1. Well to be fair, I think that statement was made before Buemi had his string of bad luck retirements. So all things being equal, they made that policy based on which driver would presumably be performing the best in the races so as not to appear biased.

        However, as we know now, it is unfortunately Buemi who will sit out through no fault of his own. I think he will still have a strong race, as he is a strong driver when it comes to overtaking (at least stronger than Algersuari) and in Brazil he should have some good opportunities to overtake given the STR’s top speed advantage down the back straight.

        1. “he is a strong driver when it comes to overtaking (at least stronger than Algersuari)”

          Any evidence?

          Here are some overtaking data from 2010: /counted only overtakings of 18 drivers from established teams except Lotus, Virgin and HRT

          Most overtakes:

          01 Hamilton 28
          02 Sutil 25
          03 Alonso 22
          04 Webber 18
          05 Vettel 17
          06 Massa 17
          07 Liuzzi 15
          08 Alguersuari 14
          09 Kobayashi 13
          10 Button 12
          11 De La Rosa 11
          12 Barrichello 11
          13 Rosberg 11
          14 Petrov 10
          15 Buemi 10
          16 Kubica 10
          17 Schumacher 10
          18 Hulkenberg 5
          19 Glock 5
          20 Kovalainen 5
          21 Trulli 4
          22 Heidfeld 3

          In a season without DRS Buemi was behind Alguersuari in terms of overtakings… The data is from cliptheapex website…

          I have not followed the data in 2011, so if you have some you can share them… But I do followed the Buemi-Alguersuari battle very closely and when they were fighting wheel to wheell doring the race (not first lap) it ended 3:1 for the Spaniard…

          Monaco – ALG passed BUE
          Great Britain – BUE passed ALG, ALG passed BUE
          Hungary – ALG passed BUE

          The one who was under intense pressure lately was Buemi so he need to overtake more… Alguersuari did exactly the same around Valencia, so he is definitely able to overtake, too…

      2. @fixy Agreed. If Buemi leaves the sport because of this it will be a travesty. I don’t believe he or Alguersuari to be championship material, but both are certainly good enough to deserve F1 drives.

        1. @fixy @xxiinophobia but the big question is if Vergne is champion material or Riccardo for that matter?…Maybe I´m biased but I still can´t see anything in Riccardo… can´t speak about Vergne..

    8. Sad to see both Torro Rosso drivers suffer have bad luck. It is a bit easier to like Alguesuari for me, but I do think both are doing pretty well, and Buemi did have a string of bad luck now.

      But as they are both doing well, and as Red Bull wants to be able to try new drivers, it means a difficult choice at the end of the year no matter how it falls out. Does Alguesuari deserve the seat less than Buemi? I wouldn’t be able to say honestly.

    9. Biggest disappointment of the race for me. The team let their drivers down. I can’t imagine anyone in Red Bull would seriously consider giving either driver the boot based on a lacklustre points finish due to technical problems. Buemi should have nothing to worry about.

      It was really confusing to see Buemie stuck behind Di Resta so much. Clearly double DRS didn;t do him any favours but did he not try and wait it out in activation zone 1 in order to pounce in zone 2?

    10. Its ridiculous to say Ricciardo has done nothing when he’s in the worst car in the field. If Red Bull is fair dinkum one of Alguseri, Buemi, or Ricciardo will take over from Webber in 2013.

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