It was a fantastic job from both these young rookies, backed up by excellent teamwork in the garage. For both drivers, it is their best qualifying performance, even if in Max’s case he also started from sixth in Malaysia, it’s the best team effort this year and it’s also the best for Toro Rosso at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Carlos was clearly fired up to do well at home and promptly posted the fourth fastest lap in Q1, while Max was ninth. Q2 also went very well, with the boys securing strong fifth and sixth places. How would they get on in the final Top Ten shoot out? The pressure was building up and you could feel the tension in the garage as the final ten minutes of track time approached. Our drivers didn’t put a foot wrong, with the team timing their runs well to make the third row an all Toro Rosso affair.
Scenes of jubilation in the garage, which was more crowded than we’ve seen it so far this year and our well-represented Spanish sponsor CEPSA was naturally delighted. Back in Faenza, the factory crew were following the action and they included our technical director James Key, who is missing this race as work progresses apace on the 2016 car. He and everyone else back home can be proud of what was achieved today with the STR10.
There was a change to the usual order at the very front of the field today, as Nico Rosberg got the better of his Mercedes team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, with the German securing his first pole position of the year. Third once again was Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari and he shares the second row with Valtteri Bottas for Williams.
The euphoria in the Toro Rosso camp soon gave way to the usual post qualifying debrief to prepare for the important part of the weekend, namely tomorrow’s fifth round of the Formula 1 World Championship. Today, there was quite a strong crosswind blowing at the track to make life difficult and on top of that, temperatures are higher than expected, which puts an even greater strain on the tyres that already come in for a hard time here because of the abrasive nature of the track and the many high speed corners. Therefore, although overtaking is tricky here, different strategies could produce a fascinating contest tomorrow. Maintaining our grid positions will be difficult, as there are some very fast cars behind us on the grid, but bringing home a lot of points has to be our target.