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Toro Rosso duo pin hopes on strategy

NEWS STORY
30/07/2011

Mat Coch writes:

After receiving a five-place grid penalty in the wake of the German Grand Prix, Sebastian Buemi has adopted an aggressive approach to tomorrow's Hungarian event.

The Swiss driver bowed out of qualifying in the first phase after choosing not to run the supersoft Pirelli in an attempt to gain a tyre advantage heading in to the race.

"I did not use any supersoft tyres because we wanted to save them for the race," he explained. "Having the grid penalty, it would not have made any sense for us to use two sets of supersoft tyres while starting at the back of the grid because we were not able to aim for more than sixteenth."

Using his reserve of new supersoft tyres while those around him are on the slower 'prime' tyre, Buemi will hope to simply outpace many of his rivals. The difference between the two compounds is believed to be worth about a second a lap, and while it should give the Toro Rosso driver the upper hand over those around him, it will likely see him battling through traffic on a circuit which is notoriously difficult to pass on.

Alguersuari fared marginally better qualifying sixteenth, though he confessed his sights are set on the outcome come Sunday afternoon. "We will always be much faster on Sunday than on Saturday," he claimed. "We are working for the race."

His comments explain the team's inconsistent qualifying pace, with both drivers having reached Q3 at various points in the year, as well as having been eliminated in Q1. Focussing the car's setup for race conditions maximises its chances for points Alguersuari believes. "Our DRS is not working where it should work," he admitted. "On Sunday obviously it's restricted on how you use it, so we gain a bit.

"If I improve my car for qualifying I will never be in the points on Sunday. Never, no chance."

Starting towards the rear of the grid once more this weekend the Spaniard believes high tyre wear will create opportunities to pass when coupled with KERS and the DRS, allowing him and teammate Buemi to move towards the points.

"Obviously if you go for the same strategy as the others with the same tyres it's going to be very difficult," said Buemi. "It's also important to have a good strategy as you can put yourself out of traffic if you've got some very good tyres.

"If you look back at races like Valencia where Jaime was able to score points, he started 18th and did not overtake anyone to finish 8th."

Both Buemi and Alguersuari have come under scrutiny throughout the 2011 season as Red Bull looks to progress the career of Daniel Ricciardo. Having started the year as Toro Rosso's official reserve driver the Australian had been taking part in Friday morning practice sessions. His signing with Hispania has eased the immediate pressure on the Toro Rosso duo, though it raises speculation over the teams driver line up next season.

"I'm not really thinking about next year," admits Buemi. "I'm really trying to concentrate on this season, trying to score as many points as possible then towards the end of the season we'll talk about next season." When asked if he was concerned over his future with the team Alguersuari was even more dismissive, the Spaniard responding with a sharp "no."

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